This chapter begins with a superficial, distanced attitude to war, as the narrator, 'R M', says that most people of the time did not have a clear idea of what the war was and what it meant for civilians. In First World War-era novels, Macaulay foregrounds home front responses to the war as she challenges traditional notions of what 'women's work' is and what it should be, a subject close to Macaulay's own experience, as she struggled to find her place during the First World War and later in the War Office and in the Ministry of Information. Margaret Higonnet has described the tendency for literary critics and historians to place women writers outside the genre of war literature in favour of male-authored literature from the trenches. Claire Tylee describes the troubled social standing of women during the First World War, remarking that 'only men could become citizens' and fully takes part in the 'area of public privilege and power'.