Roy Hattersley's classic childhood memoir, with a new Introduction and Epilogue. Roy discovers that his parents weren't married and re-visits the scene of his childhood.
'It was not until he was dead and I was forty that I realised my father was once in Holy Orders,' Roy Hattersley tells us in the opening pages of A YORKSHIRE BOYHOOD; so setting the tone for an elegant, continually surprising book.
A somewhat precocious only child, Roy grew up surrounded by protective, ever-anxious adults, equally determined to expose him to books and to shield him from germs -- second-hand books were decontaminated by a sharp session in the oven. Uncle Ernest, a timber merchant's clerk celebrated for his skill at 'fretwork and the manipulation of Indian clubs'; a ten-year feud with the next-door neighbours; unwavering devotion to Sheffield Wednesday - all the pleasures and pangs of northern working-class childhood are magnificently evoked as Roy Hattersley takes us through the hardships of the Thirties and the Blitz; and into the 1940s, the 11-plus examination and Grammar School.
Completely updated, A YORKSHIRE BOYHOOD is an autobiographical essay of unusual wit, eloquence and candour.