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Evelyn Oatley dreams of becoming a stage star in London’s glamorous theaterland. It’s a world away from her grim provincial upbringing. The daughter of a German immigrant, her troubled home life was compounded by a wave of anti-German rioting that broke out during World War One.

Tiring of both her job at a textile mill and her relationship with a local farmer, Evelyn ran off to London and transformed herself into budding starlet “Lita Ward”. But she found neither fame nor fortune there… only danger.


  • Andrews, Maggie and Lomas, Janis. The Home Front in Britain: Images, Myths and Forgotten Experiences since 1914 (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2014).
  • Arthur, Sue. ‘Blackpool Goes All-Talkie: Cinema and Society at the Seaside in Thirties Britain’, Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television, Vol. 29, No. 1, March 2019.
  • Denness, Zoe. ‘“A Question which Affects our Prestige as a Nation”: The History of British Civilian Internment’, PhD Thesis, University of Birmingham, October 2012.
  • Denness, Zoe. “Gender and Germanophobia: The Forgotten Experiences of German Women in Britain, 1914–1919’ in: Panayi, Panikos (Ed.). Germans as Minorities during the First World War: A Global Comparative Perspective (Farnham, Ashgate Publishing Company, 2014).
  • Eyles, Allan. ‘Cinemas and Cinemagoing: The Rise of Cinemas’, BFI Screenonline, 2014.
  • Higginbotham, Peter. ‘Boarding Out (Fostering)’, Children’s Homes.
  • Hill, Hector. ‘Russell Street Picturehouse’, Cinema Treasures.
  • Lassandro, Sebastian. Pride of Our Alley: The Life of Dame Gracie Fields Volume 1: 1898 – 1939 (Albany: BearManor Media, 2019).
  • Mazierska, Ema (Ed.). Blackpool in Film and Popular Music (Cham: Palgrave Macmillan, 2020).
  • Mort, Frank. ‘Striptease: The Erotic Female Body and Live Sexual Entertainment in Mid-Twentiety-Century London’, Social History, Vol. 32, No. 1, February 2007.
  • Panayi, Panikos. ‘Germans as Minorities during the First World War: Global Comparative Perspectives’, in: Panayi, Panikos (Ed.). Germans as Minorities during the First World War: A Global Comparative Perspective (Farnham, Ashgate Publishing Company, 2014).
  • Panayi, Panikos. Immigration, Ethnicity, and Racism in Britain, 1815 – 1945 (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1994).
  • Stone, Peter. ‘The German Community in London during the 19th Century’, History London.
  • Waddington, Keir. ‘“We Don’t Want Any German Sausages Here!”: Food, Fear and the German Nation in Victorian and Edwardian Britain’, Journal of British Studies, Vol. 52, No. 4, October 2013.
  • Walkowitz, Judith R. Nights Out: Life in Cosmopolitan London (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2012).
  • Walton, John K. ‘The Seaside Resort: A British Cultural Export’, History in Focus, Issue 9, Autumn 2005.

The Host

Hallie Rubenhold

Hallie Rubenhold is the host of Bad Women: The Ripper Retold. She is an award-winning historian, author, and consultant. Her research has centered on the often-neglected lives of women. Several of…