Within the Walls and What Do I Love?

, Editor
Annette Debo
PhD, 1998
University Press of Florida, 2014

This volume presents two rare works by the modernist writer H.D.: Within the Walls, a collection of fourteen short stories, and What Do I Love?, a set of three long poems. Written during World War II in London, where H.D. chose to stay despite offers of refuge in the United States, the stories and poems recount her experiences during the Blitz. These texts capture the essence of war-torn London from the perspective of a woman with her boots on the ground.

Annette Debo’s nuanced introduction sets the cultural scene for these works. She positions the literature in three contexts: H.D.’s personal life, the story of women civilians at war, and the international history of World War II. Debo helps us comprehend a time and place that transformed “H.D. Imagiste” into the bold war writer evinced in this volume and opens our eyes to the impact of these war experiences on H.D.’s better known works.