OXFORD author Julie Summers has bounced back after TV wartime drama Home Fires was axed by completing her latest book.

Last year the popular TV series starring Samantha Bond and Francesca Annis, was scrapped by ITV.

The drama, based on Miss Summers' non-fiction study of women in the Second World War, ended unexpectedly after two series.

The writer, from Iffley, said she had not completely given up hope that Home Fires would one day return.

But for the time being she is content to concentrate on her main career, writing books.

Her latest title, Behind Closed Doors: The Secret Life of Country Houses in the Second World War, has been completed after four years and is with publishers Simon & Schuster.

The new book focuses on how life changed at stately homes during the conflict including Blenheim Palace and Waddesdon Manor.

Miss Summers said: "Home Fires was the most wonderful interlude in my writing life and I loved being involved in the drama.

"However, I am a writer to my core and the experience of working with television has just served to underline that.

Working on Behind Closed Doors for the last four years has been my real passion and has kept me sane, with my feet firmly planted on the ground.

"It's doubtful that Home Fires will return, even though there were 37,000 signatures on an online petition protesting when it was axed but I would never say never.

"It has been shown in 135 territories worldwide."

In Behind Closed Doors Miss Summers explores how Blenheim Palace in Woodstock hosted Malvern College for the first academic year of the war before accommodating MI5 and later the British Council.

One photograph to be featured in the book shows furniture being unloaded in September 1939.

It included 20 pianos, all the school books, physics and biology equipment as well as goal posts, cricket stumps and of course enough beds to accommodate 400 boys.

And Waddesdon Manor was used to house 100 nursery school and orphaned children from London with a staff of twenty-seven helpers.

Miss Summers added: "The sumptuous interiors were stripped of furniture and art but the wallpapers remained and were damaged by sticky fingers and sunlight.

"Mr and Mrs de Rothschild restored the manor after the war before handing it over to the National Trust with a large endowment."

Coleshill House near Shrivenham also gets a chapter as it was the training headquarters for the Auxiliary Units, the secret British Resistance in the event of a German invasion.

And Addington House in Buckinghamshire is featured as it was the wartime home of the Czech Intelligence, which planned and executed the only successful assassination of a high-ranking Nazi, Reinhard Heydrich in Prague in 1942.

Miss Summers' other books include Fashion on the Ration and Fearless on Everest: The Quest for Sandy Irvine.