The Liberating Beauty of Little Things

Decision, Adversity & Reckoning in a Refugee’s Journey from Prague to Cambridge

Bohuslava R. Bradbrook was born in Czechoslovakia and educated at the universities of Prague, Innsbruck and Oxford. She lives now in Cambridge, and is the author of Karel Capek: In Pursuit of Truth, Tolerance and Trust, as well as numerous articles and reviews on Czech literature in scholarly journals, symposia and the Encyclopedia of World Literature in the 20th Century.

This book is the story of an academic’s escape from Czechoslovakia to England at the height of the Cold War. It is a poignant and timely reminder of the hardships and life without basic freedoms endured under Communism. It is also a documentary of the politics, sociology and history of those turbulent years in Europe as they influenced and restrained the life of academics under the yoke of Communism.

Ten years on from the fall of the Berlin Wall, a younger generation is already beginning to forget what made it imperative for so many individuals to leave their homes in Central Europe, in order to gain freedom and to demonstrate to the communist authorities, the families and friends they left behind and their new hosts, just how important their escape to Liberty was.

Paperback ISBN: 978-1-898595-34-2
Paperback Price: £12.95 / $22.95
Release Date: August 2000
Page Extent / Format: 112 pp. / 229 x 152 mm
Illustrated: No


Chapter I Prague 1952 – driven into a narrow corner – looking back to war years – the liberation 1945 – the fatal February 1948 and its consequences

Chapter II "Over the hills" to Austria – Vienna – first impressions and shocks – screening in the British zone of Vienna

Chapter III Through the Russian zone to the British – quarantine camp – the ghost of a Labour Office – anxiety and relief

Chapter IV From the British zone to the American – screening – life in a DP camp

Chapter V To Innsbruck (French zone) – efforts to secure some existence – frustrated attempts to move on – hope for settling in Eire

Chapter VI Vacation grant in Cambridge, but uncertainty about the post in Eire

Chapter VII Eire

Chapter VIII Happy marriage, but communist régime still imposes its power.

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