Brian Johnston Letters Home 1926 - 1945

ISBN 13: 9780297841272

Letters Home 1926 - 1945

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9780297841272: Letters Home 1926 - 1945
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The newly discovered letters of Cricket commentator and broadcasting personality, Biran Johnston. When Brian Johnston died in 1995 it was as if a great cricketer had passed on. Standing room only at the Westminster Abbey funeral and a trio of books that raced into the bestseller lists and stayed. But what suprised Heald was how little of his life appeared to exist in written form. Apart from a few fragments, no letters from school, university, early jobs and war. Then in 1996, his widow in clearing their house, came across a box, opening it she found more than 400 letters from Brian to his mother and stepfather dating back to his 1st term at Eton and ending in 1946 as he joined the BBC. Son Barry has now transcribed and edited them. Although the letters date from long before he became famous, the schoolboy humour emerges early, but being at Eton and New College means his future network is ensured: we learn for instance that Alec Dunglass wore 1 of Brian Johnston's shirts when accompanying Chamberlain to Munich in 1938. He is also a good observer of a social scene long since past. the letters are reminiscent of Joyce Grenfell's to her mother, published in 1985 and a bestseller.

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Brian Johnston was one of Britain's best loved broadcasters for close to 50 years. By the time of his death in 1994 he had officially become, along with The Queen Mother and Red Rum, a national treasure. This collection of letters, written to his mother from his time as a boy at Eton in the 1920s right through until he was demobbed after World War II in 1945, will do nothing to diminish that elevated status. The collection is edited by Johnston's son Barry and the voice that comes off the page is very much the same as the one that captivated listeners to his broadcasting. Gentle, caring, and full of fun, there is even the early indications of his love of nicknames - a colleague named David Silvertop is called "Goldbottom" throughout. As a social history of upper-class life in the first half of the 20th century - after Eton Johnston went into the family coffee business working both in Brazil and in the City - this is an interesting read. But as a glimpse of the man behind the broadcaster it is a joy, mostly because it confirms what so many of his admirers had long hoped and believed; that on or off-air, Brian Johnston was a wonderful human being. --Nick Wroe

About the Author:

Brian Johnston is a freelance travel and features writer. His articles have appeared in newspapers such as The Age, New Zealand Herald, Straits Times and South China Morning Post as well as in numerous travel and inflight magazines around the world. He won the Australian Society of Travel Writers prestigious 2004 Travel Writer of the Year award. His previous books Boxing with Shadows and Into the Never-Never: Travels in Australia were both published by Melbourne University Press.

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9780752826134: Letters Home: 1926-1945

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ISBN 10:  0752826131 ISBN 13:  9780752826134
Publisher: Orion, 1999

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