Firing a Shot for Freedom by Frida Stewart
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“An utterly riveting and deeply moving memoir of Europe and the Soviet Union in the interwar years, the Spanish Civil War and occupied France” – Paul Preston
Frida Stewart (m. Knight) wrote Firing a Shot for Freedom in the 1940s when her experiences in Spain’s civil war and passionate belief in the Republican cause were very recent memories, fresh with hope, raw with regret. Vividly capturing the spirit of the times in each chapter, she recalls how she drove an ambulance down to Spain, visited the front in Madrid, and became directly involved in the evacuation of the Basque children to Britain. Her escape from an internment camp in France during the Second World War, helped by the French Resistance, is described with a particularly tense detailed recall.
Frida’s own developing political feelings are placed within a rich historical context, mapping out the path she took from her roots in the philanthropic traditions found in drawing-rooms of the Cambridge intelligentsia to her arrival at a steadfast commitment to the ideals of socialism.
The Afterword is based Angela Jackson’s oral history interviews with Frida, together with material from her extensive collection of personal papers. It explores the fifty years Frida spent campaigning for causes after the memoirs end and offers insights into her indomitable character.