What is in no doubt is her gift for writing. Nella reminded me a little of Jane Austen who remained unpublished for much of her life but never doubted her literary genius. To a certain extent, Nella did have an admiring audience for her writing. She was known for writing brilliant letters and when poor Jess had a complete nervous breakdown - what we would probably now call severe post-natal depression - she kept the doctor and matron in the hospital entertained with Nella's letters.
One woman I know - a big-made woman of about fifty-six who took on an air-raid warden job - has had a nervous breakdown. Her niece said she had always had a fear of the dark and, now she knew she would have to take her turn in the dark all winter, she has cracked up.I want to read more about the blackouts so I've looked out The Provincial Lady in Wartime and I'm pretty sure there are some descriptions of the blackouts in Mary Wesley's The Camomile Lawn. Maybe somebody can remember?