Common People: The History of an English Family

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9780141039862: Common People: The History of an English Family

Shortlisted for the 2014 Samuel Johnson Prize 'Part detective story, part Dickensian saga, part labour history. A thrilling and unnerving read' Observer 'Mesmeric and deeply moving' Daily Telegraph 'Remarkable, haunting, full of wisdom' The Times Family history is a massive phenomenon of our times but what are we after when we go in search of our ancestors? Beginning with her grandparents, Alison Light moves between the present and the past, in an extraordinary series of journeys over two centuries, across Britain and beyond. Epic in scope and deep in feeling, Common People is a family history but also a new kind of public history, following the lives of the migrants who travelled the country looking for work. Original and eloquent, it is a timely rethinking of who the English were - but ultimately it reflects on history itself, and on our constant need to know who went before us and what we owe them.

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About the Author:

ALISON LIGHT is a writer and critic who was most recently a Visiting Professor of Modern English Literature and Culture at Newcastle University and at Sheffield Hallam University. She spent several years establishing the Raphael Samuel History Centre in London.  Light writes regularly for the press, and also frequently broadcasts on BBC radio and on television. Her last book was the much-acclaimed Mrs. Woolf and the Servants.

Review:

In illuminating her own, Light serves up the most powerful family history I have ever read. -- Penelope Lively * New York Times * Light writes beautifully. With such colour and with perception and lyricism she clads the past....Common People is part memoir, part thrilling social history of the England of the Industrial Revolution, but above all a work of quiet poetry and insight into human behaviour. It is full of wisdom. -- Melanie Reid * The Times Book of the Week * This book is a substantial achievement: its combination of scholarship and intelligence is, you may well think, the best monument you could have to all those she has rescued from time's oblivion. * Financial Times * Evocatively written...a thrilling and unnerving read * The Observer * Exquisite...Barely a page goes by without something fascinating on it, betraying Light's skill in winkling out the most relevant or moving aspects of her antecedents' lives, which echo through the generations. * the Independent on Sunday * [A] short and beautifully written meditation on family and mobility. * the Independent * Intellectually sound and relevant...a refreshingly modern way of thinking about our past. * New Statesman * Light [is skilled] in probing dark corners of her ancestry and exposing their historical meaning...packed with humanity. * Sunday Times * Beautifully written and exhaustively researched, Alison Light makes her family speak for England. * Jerry White, author of London in the Eighteenth Century * A remarkable achievement...should become a classic. * Margaret Drabble *

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Book Description Penguin Books Ltd, United Kingdom, 2015. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Shortlisted for the 2014 Samuel Johnson Prize Part detective story, part Dickensian saga, part labour history. A thrilling and unnerving read Observer Mesmeric and deeply moving Daily Telegraph Remarkable, haunting, full of wisdom The TimesFamily history is a massive phenomenon of our times but what are we after when we go in search of our ancestors? Beginning with her grandparents, Alison Light moves between the present and the past, in an extraordinary series of journeys over two centuries, across Britain and beyond.Epic in scope and deep in feeling, Common People is a family history but also a new kind of public history, following the lives of the migrants who travelled the country looking for work. Original and eloquent, it is a timely rethinking of who the English were - but ultimately it reflects on history itself, and on our constant need to know who went before us and what we owe them. Bookseller Inventory # AAZ9780141039862

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Book Description Penguin Books Ltd, United Kingdom, 2015. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Shortlisted for the 2014 Samuel Johnson Prize Part detective story, part Dickensian saga, part labour history. A thrilling and unnerving read Observer Mesmeric and deeply moving Daily Telegraph Remarkable, haunting, full of wisdom The TimesFamily history is a massive phenomenon of our times but what are we after when we go in search of our ancestors? Beginning with her grandparents, Alison Light moves between the present and the past, in an extraordinary series of journeys over two centuries, across Britain and beyond.Epic in scope and deep in feeling, Common People is a family history but also a new kind of public history, following the lives of the migrants who travelled the country looking for work. Original and eloquent, it is a timely rethinking of who the English were - but ultimately it reflects on history itself, and on our constant need to know who went before us and what we owe them. Bookseller Inventory # AAZ9780141039862

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Book Description Fig Tree, 2015. Book Condition: New. Family history is a massive phenomenon of our times but what are we after when we go in search of our ancestors? Beginning with her grandparents, the author moves between the present and the past, in an extraordinary series of journeys over two centuries, across Britain and beyond. Num Pages: 352 pages, integrated black & white illustrations. BIC Classification: 1DBKE; HBJD1; WQY. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 131 x 198 x 35. Weight in Grams: 286. . 2015. Paperback. . . . . . Bookseller Inventory # V9780141039862

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Book Description Fig Tree. Book Condition: New. Family history is a massive phenomenon of our times but what are we after when we go in search of our ancestors? Beginning with her grandparents, the author moves between the present and the past, in an extraordinary series of journeys over two centuries, across Britain and beyond. Num Pages: 352 pages, integrated black & white illustrations. BIC Classification: 1DBKE; HBJD1; WQY. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 131 x 198 x 35. Weight in Grams: 286. . 2015. Paperback. . . . . Books ship from the US and Ireland. Bookseller Inventory # V9780141039862

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