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

Melvyn Bragg

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Autobiography: literary

Melvyn Bragg's first ever memoir - an elegiac, intimate account of growing up in post-war Cumbria, which vividly evokes a vanished world.

'The best thing he's ever written . . . I loved it' Observer

Melvyn Bragg's first ever memoir - an elegiac, intimate account of growing up in post-war Cumbria, which lyrically evokes a vanished world.

In this captivating memoir, Melvyn Bragg recalls growing up in the Cumbrian market town of Wigton, from his early childhood during the war to the moment he had to decide between staying on or spreading his wings.
This is the tale of a boy who lived in a pub and expected to leave school at fifteen yet won a scholarship to Oxford. Derailed by a severe breakdown when he was thirteen, he developed a passion for reading and study - though that didn't stop him playing in a skiffle band or falling in love.

It is equally the tale of the people and place that formed him. Bragg indelibly portrays his parents and local characters from pub regulars to vicars, teachers and hardmen, and vividly captures the community-spirited northern town - steeped in the old ways but on the cusp of post-war change. A poignant elegy to a vanished era as well as the glories of the Lake District, it illuminates what made him the writer, broadcaster and champion of the arts he is today.

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Melvyn Bragg

Melvyn Bragg is a writer and broadcaster whose first novel, For Want of a Nail, was published in 1965. His novels since include The Maid of Buttermere, The Soldier's Return, A Son of War, Credo and Now is the Time, which won the Parliamentary Book Award for fiction in 2016. His books have also been awarded the Time/Life Silver Pen Award, the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize and the WHSmith Literary Award, and have been longlisted three times for the Booker Prize (including the Lost Man Booker Prize).

He has also written several works of non-fiction, including The Adventure of English and The Book of Books about the King James Bible.

He lives in London and Cumbria.

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