Back in the Day: Melvyn Bragg's deeply affecting, first ever memoir

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Back in the Day: Melvyn Bragg's deeply affecting, first ever memoir

Back in the Day: Melvyn Bragg's deeply affecting, first ever memoir

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This is a really good book and especially good that the author is narrating himself, there are times when he is clearly very emotional and this adds very much to the impact of the story. Bragg says “This is about my life from the age of six to 18 in the middle of the last century at a time which now seems like another country. So many parallels, struggles for money and food, adolescent confusion and intense emotions, balancing a job with school, sports, friends, learning how to study, getting into the university against all odds, the girl back home.

I have always been aware of his fame and popularity in our little town but not untill I read / listened to this do I feel I really know him as a man . No missing or damaged pages, no creases or tears, no underlining or highlighting of text, and no writing in the margins. When I was at Oxford, I remember writing, out of nowhere, a long short story, but was too shy to send it anywhere. None of them had felt able to attend the service – wrong church – but here they all were now, an unlikely guard of honour.I really enjoyed this book particularly as I lived in Wigton for most of my early life (although it was in the 50's and 60's so some years after those in the book) and attended the same schools and knew many of the people and places described.

This leading to an entrance exam and interview for Queens College, Oxford, with an offer for a scholarship after his National Service. It was his life before leaving for university that was my main focus and found his telling of it was so good. The first 200 pages are an impressionistic jumble of memories and feelings from early childhood; the second (the two are divided by a serious mental and physical breakdown that seems to come out of nowhere at the age of fourteen) show him developing a love of learning, literature and hard intellectual labour that would underpin his later professional life. I loved the story about falling in love with Sarah and their sexual explorations, fear of pregnancy which is so familiar to people of that generation. I am biased: I have lived in Wigton since 1992 and taught for 26 years at the very school that Melvyn attended.

It's a rare thing to read about, especially these days, and that made the story all the more valuable and enjoyable. Melvyn Bragg’s first memoir (Back In The Day: A Memoir, published 26 th May 2022) covers the period up to the moment when he left home for University in Oxford. Registered office address: Unit 34 Vulcan House Business Centre, Vulcan Road, Leicester, Leicestershire, LE5 3EF. As we might expect from his previous writings, his deep rootedness in, and love of Wigton, the place of his upbringing, plays a huge role in the book, as does his relationship with his parents, Ethel and Stan, to whom he plays a loving but sharp-eyed tribute.

This wonderfully authentic and often moving account of Bragg's childhood up to the time he leaves for university, is a heartfelt celebration of family life in a working-class community during the 1940s and 50s. The writing is plain, in the sense that he wants to get things down, but there is something incantatory, here, too, as though some other force than himself was pushing his fingers across his keyboard. This has all the hallmarks of a frank and sincerely honest book; a pastiche of look-in-the mirror reflections; a series of early-life’s paradoxes and contradictions. There’s little I could express except the same choked up feeling that roughens his voice as he tries to make it through the last word of the chapter before the wave of memory drowns him.

He is in effect saying that even though he has chosen to go to Oxford to study, in his heart he will never leave behind his home and those living there! But those who have no knowledge of Wigton will still be moved and entertained by the books’ depiction of a northern community in the 40s and 50s, and the development within it of an important figure in the cultural life of this country. It is not included in promotions available to our main range products, as stated in our terms of service.

One can compare Bragg with Karl Sagan - due both promoters of knowledge innate curiosity, extreme diligence and preparation as well as ability to poignantly uncover powerful truths with simple questions. Please Note: By their very nature, all signed books will have been handled several times before they get to you. He was often moved to tears in his narration when reflecting and retelling certain special moments and I too wept as I listened . The best thing about it the book was the way it captured the culture of working-class life and displayed it in all its glory. a balanced, honest picture' Richard Benson, Mail on SundayIn this elegiac and heartfelt memoir, Melvyn Bragg recreates his youth in the Cumbrian market town of Wigton: a working-class boy who expected to leave school at fifteen yet who gained a scholarship to Oxford University; who happily roamed the streets and raided orchards with his gang of friends until a breakdown in adolescence drove him to find refuge in books.Read more about the condition Very Good: A book that has been read and does not look new, but is in excellent condition. However, I am glad that I persisted because once Bragg's family move into the Blackamoor Pub, there is a vibrancy and warmth that pervades throughout the book.

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  • EAN: 764486781913
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