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Technical Virgins

By: Elaine Crowley

Publication Date: November 1998


Technical Virgins by Elaine Crowley

In her best-selling first volume of autobiography, Cowslips and Chainies, Elaine Crowley remembered her childhood in 1930s Dublin with great warmth and poignance. Technical Virgins is the delightful sequel as she recalls her years as a young woman serving in the British army ATS after the Second World War. This is a memoir of leaving disease-ridden Dublin for a world she imagined to be a Tír na nOg of the young and healthy; of being a ‘Paddy’ in England; and of passionate friendships and romances.

With her inimitable novelist’s eye for detail, Crowley weaves a fascinating tapestry of her years as a ‘technical virgin’, coloured by vivid descriptions of army rations (inedible), fashion (Maidenform bras, the miseries of the ATS uniform), social trends and sexual mores. Crowley re-creates a vanished world that will touch a chord in all who were once young.

‘The secret of her success lies in the unaffected Irish warm-heartedness of her writing.’The Irish Times


ELAINE CROWLEY, who came late to writing, achieved instant success with her novels Dreams of Other Days (1984), The Man Made to Measure (1986), Waves Upon the Shore (1989) The Ways of Women (1993) and A Family Cursed (1996). She is preparing a third volume of autobiography.

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Weight 0.14 kg
Dimensions 135 × 215 mm
Publication Date

November 1998


Paperback, 196pp