Posted 20 hours ago

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

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I think he was fortunate in being an only child in some ways because his parents were able to support his choices whereas they might not have been able to if there were a handful of other kids to care for. 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.

It’s still a powerful retelling of hardships endured in postwar Britain, and how that imbued him with the qualities many generations now enjoy. just touching the 50s but no memories beyond a couple of photographs of me in an enormous pram outside our front door) and its a gem.For me, doing a sport, physical exercise or any other activity is done simply for the fun of doing it, not for coming in first. uk will use the information you provide on this form to be in touch with you and to provide updates and marketing. It's a rare thing to read about, especially these days, and that made the story all the more valuable and enjoyable. I’d have got into local government or gone down to the factory and worked in its accounts department or been a junior clerk.

My father's mother had pretensions of grandeur while my mother came from a family of miners and steelworkers. Prolific author, critic, historian, populariser of art, science and philosophy, broadcaster, politician and campaigner, and for more than twenty years, presenter of one of the jewels in the crown of the BBC, the weekly Radio 4 programme ‘In Our Time’, his commitment and enthusiasm for the examined life can be traced back to his roots in the north Cumbrian market town of Wigton.I understand what a huge thing this was at the time but I still found myself exacerbated by young Melvyn and his tortuous indecision about what to do !

His mother, Ethel, was illegitimate, fostered by “a Victorian matriarch” whom Bragg believed to be his grandmother until long after she died. Derailed by a severe breakdown when he was 13, he developed a passion for reading and study - though that didn't stop him playing in a skiffle band or falling in love. Melvyn Bragg’s memoir, Back in the Day, is a portrait of the town in which he grew up, Wigton in Cumbria. It transforms from a list of familial facts to a life story filled with the richness of those around him and the love of his family, hometown, and the vast assorted characters who populated his young life. Bragg is ten years my senior so his experiences of growing up in the war years, and being a teenager in the 50s were relatable, especially as my brothers were that much older than me.It covers Melvyn Bragg’s early years alone with his mother while his father fought in the war, the chronic breakdown he experienced when he was 13 and the love of books that saved him, the joys of first romance, and his journey to winning a scholarship at Oxford to study Modern History. I had to read at least half until it began to improve for me From then on, my appreciation grew and grew.

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