Anne Worrall, Professor Emerita of Criminology, has edited and published, as an ebook, a novel written by her mother in the early 1950s, based on her experiences as a probation officer in London in the Second World War.
Miss Hall’s Girls is a semi-autobiographical novel, written in the early 1950s, by Julia Steel. It tells a touching story of hope, fear and resilience, offering a unique historical perspective on the lives of ordinary families in extraordinary circumstances – often struggling to survive bombs, evacuation and rations.
In particular, it focuses on the lives of women and girls, from the perspective of the local probation officer. However, for many, ‘survival’ sometimes means resorting to crime.
For the teenage girls described in the novel, the only excitement is meeting American soldiers in the local dance hall. Worried parents call the probation officer, Mary Hall, who valiantly tries to keep the girls ‘out of trouble’. But trouble takes many forms and, while the war may come to an end, its consequences don’t.