During World War II Monica Dickens worked in an aircraft factory repairing Spitfire fighters. One Pair of Feet (1942) was an account of her learning to be a hospital nurse during the war. The book concludes with Dickens's announcement that she will leave nursing to go and make tanks. The Happy Prisoner (1946), which was made into a play by John McNair, dealt with the relationship between a nurse, Elizabeth, and Oliver, a former officer who lost his leg in Arnheim in a battle and has a serious heart trouble. Oliver lives with his mother. Other members of the family include his sisters Violet and Heather with her son David. From the small details of their everyday life Dickens draws an optimistic picture of post-war England. Her experiences as a reporter on a local newspaper were recorded in the novel My Turn to Make the Tea (1951).
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In 1955 he adapted it for BBC Television where it aired on Sun 26th June.
The Happy Prisoner (1961)