Our Hidden Lives: The Remarkable  Diaries of Postwar Britain

Our Hidden Lives: The Remarkable Diaries of Postwar Britain

Paperback

By (author) Simon Garfield

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  • Publisher: Ebury Press
  • Format: Paperback | 544 pages
  • Dimensions: 127mm x 191mm x 38mm | 318g
  • Publication date: 26 July 2011
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 0091897335
  • ISBN 13: 9780091897338
  • Edition statement: New edition
  • Illustrations note: 25
  • Sales rank: 222,268

Product description

"In 1936 anthropologist Tom Harrison, poet and journalist Charles Madge, and documentary filmmaker Humphrey Jennings set up the Mass Observation Project. The idea was simple: ordinary people would record, in diary form, the events of their everyday lives. An estimated one million pages eventually found their way to the archive - and it soon became clear this was more than anyone could digest. Today, the diaries are stored at the University of Sussex, where remarkably most remain unread. In Our Hidden Lives, Simon Garfield has skilfully woven a tapestry of diary entries in the rarely discussed but pivotal period of 1945 to 1948. The result is a moving, intriguing, funny, at times heartbreaking book - unashamedly populist in the spirit of Forgotten Voices or indeed Margaret Forster's Diary of an Ordinary Woman.

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Author information

Simon Garfield is an award-winning feature writer on The Observer and author of two previous books of oral history, both highly acclaimed. His study of Aids in Britain, The End of Innocence, was awarded the Somerset Maugham Prize, and the bestselling Mauve was described by the Daily Telegraph as 'a book about science which also happens to be a miniature work of art'. His most recent work, The Last Journey of William Huskisson, was a Radio 4 Book of the Week.

Review quote

"I haven't read a more engrossing book in years ... a triumph of sympathetic editing" Sunday Times "These are invaluable records of quiet lives, sometimes despairing, often moving, occasionally bitter, frequently prescient. Occasionally they are just plain funny" Sunday Telegraph "***** - Diaries that will rewrite our history ... Our Hidden Lives intertwines modest private lives with historic public events and is by turns poignant, shocking, informative and very funny" Mail on Sunday "A fascinating and moving portrait of ordinary lives in extraordinary times ... I could not put this book down. Over the course of its 500 or so pages, its characters almost became friends. Once I'd finished the book I missed them" -- Melanie McGrath Evening Standard "A quite magical store of voices from another age" Observer