Blitz Spirit with Lucy Worsley

Blitz Spirit with Lucy Worsley
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Review

We’ve heard a lot during the past year about the “Blitz spirit”, that chin-up, we’re-all-in-this-together, gung-ho kind of Second World War national unity and resilience that’s supposed to vanquish the coronavirus.

But what is the Blitz spirit, wonders historian Lucy Worsley in this moving and dramatic feature-length documentary examining public reaction to the Luftwaffe’s devastating nightly bombardment of London in 1940.

Unsurprisingly, Worsley finds the Blitz spirit is largely a myth pushed out by a government terrified that too much truth would fatally undermine the country’s wartime morale, which was in danger of being swamped by panic and fear.

Using extracts from diaries and Mass Observation entries made by members of the public, and extraordinarily vivid contemporary colour footage of the hellish fires caused by German bombs, Worsley sorts the truth from the propaganda.

It’s not easy. As she says, “History is an inherently messy business.”

Summary

The historian tells the stories of six people who lived through the Blitz, featuring archive footage and readings from personal biographies, oral history collections, government records and private, unpublished diaries. Lucy visits key locations including the Imperial War Museum archive in London and the Mass Observation archive at The Keep in Sussex.

Cast & Crew

Presenter Dr Lucy Worsley
Rosie Jones
Max Funcheon-Dinnen
Alana Ramsey
Stefan Adegbola
Rhiannon Neads
Jay Simpson
Director Emma Frank
Executive Producer Emma Hindley
Producer Yasmine Permaul
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History