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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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. Melvyn Bragg’s memoir, Back in the Day, is a portrait of the town in which he grew up, Wigton in Cumbria. Read more about the condition Very Good: A book that has been read and does not look new, but is in excellent condition. I swotted because I found that, when I was in this terrible state, if I read difficult books, I couldn’t think about anything else for that period of time.It’s still a powerful retelling of hardships endured in postwar Britain, and how that imbued him with the qualities many generations now enjoy. View image in fullscreen King Street in Wigton circa 1955: ‘Bragg was almost paralysingly reluctant to leave Cumbria’. Melvyn Bragg, Baron Bragg, FRSL, FRTS (born 6 October 1939) is an English author, broadcaster and media personality who, aside from his many literary endeavours, is perhaps most recognised for his work on The South Bank Show. This is also particularly interesting for me being from Wigton myself, knowing the author and many of the characters mentioned, as well as all the backstreets and lanes of Wigton, and what it is to be from the town. This book took me back, as I am only a few years younger than the author, but born and raised in the City of Bristol, England.

In 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. There arises a conflict between the wishes of his parents and the possibility of his continuing his studies. It's an affecting and evocative account of his working-class upbringing in the small Cumbrian market town of Wigton and a vivid Cider With Rosie-style portrait of a particular place and time. Registered office address: Unit 34 Vulcan House Business Centre, Vulcan Road, Leicester, Leicestershire, LE5 3EF. Setting the speed to 80% and listening to sections several times does make it possible to hear the lines.

When my brother and I went to stay with my mother's parents, there was an outside lavatory and the toilet paper was newspaper cut into squares. Bragg's book, the best thing he's ever written, imbues the overused literary adjective "piercing" with real meaning . When I was at Oxford, I remember writing, out of nowhere, a long short story, but was too shy to send it anywhere.

Photograph: Louise Court/Melvyn Bragg View image in fullscreen Melvyn Bragg: ‘so often hits on something wise and even numinous’. His years in the 6th form, his first love, and how he got to Oxford, or nearly didn't, rivetting stuff.What this means is that it is too easy for a beautiful turn or words, a truth, or comment to blend in to the flow. I really knew nothing about him before reading this and am reminded of the saying that “you can take someone out of a place but not the place it of them”. Above all, however, it is a warm look back on a life flavoured with the realities of life in England’s north-west and of a hard working student’s pathway towards academic success. Bragg won a scholarship to Oxford, joined the BBC and went on to become one of our best-known broadcasters (presenter of In Our Time on Radio 4) and a life peer: Lord Bragg of Wigton. With a gentle voice, Lord Bragg presented recollections of his early life in Wigton, a delight to hear.

It was easy to imagine how Bragg must have felt at the sight of them, the feeling of something close to love reaching him as he emerged into the daylight. Will usually dispatch within same working day if paid before 14:00 GMT (excludes weekends and holidays). For me the audiobook was somewhat flawed in that his own performance is at a speed quicker than his normal speaking voice as you would hear it on the radio or on the TV.As a result, he grew up knowing people from those settings, as well as school and Scouts, swimming and all his other childhood activities. You can change your choices at any time by visiting Cookie preferences, as described in the Cookie notice. At Books2Door, we believe that reading is a fundamental skill that every child should have to help improve their vocabulary, grammar, and critical thinking skills. I didn’t appreciate this given the few hours of sunlight and the cold dreary weather I have had to deal with currently. The awkwardnesses of his understanding with his father, with whom so much had to be left unsaid given the nature of male emotional life in the 1940s and 1950s and the character of Stan himself, emerge very strongly.

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