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A Yorkshire Boyhood

Roy Hattersley

4 Reviews

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Biography: general, Prose: non-fiction

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.

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Praise for A Yorkshire Boyhood

  • Roy Hattersley's warm, entertaining account of his early years as a happy, much cherished child is a pleasure to read... An engaging, yet also persuasive read. - YOUNG MINDS MAGAZINE

  • A narrator who has the common touch . . . This gift for re-creating his childhood makes Mr Hattersley the Beryl Bainbridge of English politics - OBSERVER

  • A lovely and well-written read. - NOTTINGHAM EVENING POST

  • His moving memoir...explains the idealism that makes him tick. - THE TIMES

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Roy Hattersley

Roy Hattersley is a politician-turned-writer. He was elected to Parliament in 1964, and served in each of Harold Wilson's governments as well as Jim Callaghan's Cabinet before becoming deputy leader of the Labour Party in 1983. He is the author of fourteen books.