Headline Publishing Group has acquired Tessa Dunlop's Army Girls - The Secrets and Stories of Military Service from the Final Few Women who Fought in World War II.
Publisher for non-fiction Iain MacGregor acquired UK and Commonwealth rights from Robert Kirby at United Agents. Army Girls will publish in hardback in autumn of 2021.
The synopsis reads: "Eighty years ago, in December 1941, for the first time in British history conscription for women was introduced. Britain mobilised proportionally more women into its war effort than any other country. It would be another 50 years before the army deployed women as soldiers into enemy territory, but the obligation to serve and sacrifice came much earlier. The Second World War’s Auxiliary Territorial Service (ATS) was the largest and most lethal of the three female military services. The Army Girls—women, war and obligatory national service—tells the story of the ATS through the voices of the final few."
MacGregor said: "Tessa is arguably one of this country’s brightest and engaging historians on television, radio and commentating in the media world. Her research and writing skills, allied to an ability to seek out and capture the memories of women who have lived through historic episodes in this country’s past, ensures that every book she produces is a page-turner with real depth and emotional clarity. Army Girls is the perfect vehicle for her talents."
Dunlop commented: "By the end of the Second World War, thousands of young girls in the British Army, the ATS, fought on gun-sites and served overseas. It’s been extraordinary to discover and meet the last few survivors, 80 years on. Now, in the eye of a very different storm, and once again at considerable risk to themselves, they have finally told their story. Crafting their experiences into a piece of living history is both timely and thrilling."
Dunlop is a presenter, broadcaster and historian. She has previously authored The Century Girls (S&S, 2018), The Bletchley Girls (Hodder & Stoughton, 2015) and To Romania with Love (Quartet Books, 2012).