Get Your Free Audiobook

  • The Bletchley Girls

  • War, Secrecy, Love and Loss: The Women of Bletchley Park Tell Their Story
  • By: Tessa Dunlop
  • Narrated by: Anna Bentinck
  • Length: 12 hrs and 18 mins
  • Categories: History, Europe
  • 4.3 out of 5 stars (42 ratings)

Non-member price: $31.21

After 30 days, Audible is $16.45/mo. Cancel anytime.

Publisher's Summary

Historian and broadcaster Tessa Dunlop tells the story of the women of Bletchley Park through exclusive and unprecedented access to the women themselves. The Bletchley Girls weaves together the lives of 15 women who were all selected to work in Britain's most secret organisation - Bletchley Park.

It is their story, told in their voices; Tessa met and talked to 15 veterans, often visiting them several times. Firm friendships were made as their epic journey unfolded on paper. The scale of female involvement in Britain during the Second World War wasn't matched in any other country.

From eight million working women, just over 7,000 were handpicked to work at Bletchley Park and its outstations. There had always been girls at the park, but soon they outnumbered the men three to one. A refugee from Belgium, a Scottish debutante, a Jewish 14-year-old and a factory worker from Northamptonshire - the Bletchley Girls confound stereotypes. But they all have one common bond: the war and their highly confidential part in it.

In the middle of the night, hunched over meaningless pieces of paper, tending mind-blowing machines, sitting listening for hours on end, theirs was invariably confusing, monotonous and meticulous work, about which they could not breathe a word.

By meeting and talking to these fascinating female secret keepers who are still alive today, Tessa Dunlop captures their extraordinary journeys into an adult world of war, secrecy, love and loss. Through the voices of the women themselves, this is a portrait of life at Bletchley Park beyond the celebrated code breakers; it's the story of the girls behind Britain's ability to consistently outsmart the enemy and an insight into the women they have become.

©2015 Tessa Dunlop (P)2016 Hodder & Stoughton

What listeners say about The Bletchley Girls

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    24
  • 4 Stars
    11
  • 3 Stars
    5
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    1
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    21
  • 4 Stars
    14
  • 3 Stars
    3
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    0
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    22
  • 4 Stars
    12
  • 3 Stars
    4
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    0

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Timely Tribute

Fascinating detail of the Bletchley Girls' roles. Not all were stationed at BP; some had never heard it mentioned, but all played a role and kept it secret until the first book was published in 1974.
Highly recommended.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

"Highly Recommend"

I loved this book, well researched & well narrated.
15 Veterans accounting their involvement in the Second World War reflecting the importance of the role they played which is part of our history today.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Brilliant. Thank you.

Thank you for telling this story and celebrating the work that the women did. Thank you especially for mentioning in such kind words, my Great Aunty Phoebe Senyard. During her life, she never told us she worked at Bletchley. Nevertheless, she had a huge impact on me. She was my heroine and always will be.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Loved it

I loved this book! A wonderful account of 15 very different Bletchley women, but also a great social history of that time.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

One of the best books that I have listened to.

Fascinating , so well narrated and attention grabbing and very hard to have to put down, thoughtfully written. Bought to life an era in recent history that was shrouded in secrecy for many years and the day to day thoughts of some of the amazing women who worked tirelessly as part of Britain's war machine. The tip of the iceberg with this book makes me want to discover more fascinating stories of amazing people. Hoping to hear more gems from this author.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Underwhelmed

With the content and research it should have been an interesting listen. However the writer was so intent on forcing her point that women were underrated, undervalued and underestimated that the actual story gets blurred behind a kind of women's rights push. A women myself, I fully understand and appreciate the importance of the role women played in the way but don't like to feel that I'm being indoctrinated.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Sara
  • Sara
  • 02-02-2016

Disjointed & Confusing

This book had great potential but was limited by the scope set out by the publisher and the approach chosen by the author.

First, in order to be included in the story the women had to be alive. This created a beat the clock feeling because many of the women interviewed were well into their 90's. This was done to enable the reader to hear the stories directly from the women--not second hand--strengthening the "human interest" angle. In the end an unusual choice and very limiting because it really narrowed the playing field to women who were very young--first time away from home "girls"--during their time at Bletchley. A broader subset of the population may have been more representative of the whole story and the actual population of Bletchley Park.

Further, the author's approach of presenting the 15 women as a group rather than individually in their own chapters caused me the biggest problem. I liked the idea of telling the history, background and personal experience of each of the 15 women interviewed. In theory this offered a picture of the culture and state of the world leading up to the war. In reality the choice to cover the women as a group--related only by topic--was a huge problem. There was just too much jumping around from person to person. To me, it would have been better if each woman was introduced separately in their own chapter. That way the reader would have had a chance to get to know the women--putting a history firmly with a name. As it stands, the whole thing was a jumble. It was just impossible for me to keep the names and the stories straight and to feel any connection to the individual women presented.

Over all this was a frustrating, disjointed and confusing book which misses the mark and becomes a muddle. Disappointing if you are looking for a human face and a broad approach to the story of Bletchley Park.


33 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for PSS
  • PSS
  • 23-04-2019

Please post a schedule of the talks at BP

A life changing read.
To learn their story is to get a lesson on how to live life. We owe them so much!

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for suzanne
  • suzanne
  • 24-01-2016

th e girls

boring not a good listen very slow and reader is enough to put you to sleep

3 people found this helpful

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for kathryn hanson
  • kathryn hanson
  • 11-10-2017

Boring

So boring not what I expected. There was no plot to the storyline. A waste of money.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Gadgetfanatic
  • Gadgetfanatic
  • 06-02-2016

Awful.

Awful narration. Narrator tried to do accents which is very off putting. so much so I binned the book after one chapter. Waste of a monthly credit. Avoid.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Dee
  • Dee
  • 09-08-2019

No storyline

I listened for over 3 hours hoping the writer, she doesn't deserve the title author, to start making sense. There was no storyline to follow. I thought from the title, "The Bletchley Girls" the story would be about the time the girls spent at Bletchley. The writer said she had 14 women she found that had worked at Bletchley. The writer put a lot of verbiage & then would do a quote from one of the women. I would like to hear the story of each woman from when they started at Bletchley until they left. I will have to keep looking.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Ned
  • Ned
  • 06-08-2019

GREAT.

I wish I had bought the book...regrettably i was not keen on the narrator's narration...

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for CMDavis
  • CMDavis
  • 13-04-2019

wonderful insight into bletchley

thoroughly enjoyed listening to the story, very easy to listen to & follow. Learned a lot about the girls behind the breakthrough. Thank you.

In the spirit of reconciliation, Audible Australia acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of country throughout Australia and their connections to land, sea and community. We pay our respect to their elders past and present and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples today.