British Summer Time Begins: The School Summer Holidays 1930-1980 (Paperback)Ysenda Maxtone Graham (author)
- Save £1.50
- 10+ in stock
Charting a nostalgic path through those idyllic weeks between June and September, British Summer Time Begins is an elegiac exploration of the mid-century summer holidays in the UK.
British Summer Time Begins is about summer holidays of the mid-twentieth century and how they were spent, as recounted to Ysenda Maxtone-Graham in vividly remembered detail by people who were there. Through this prism, it paints a revealing portrait of twentieth-century Britain in summertime: how we were, how families functioned, what houses and gardens and streets were like, what journeys were like, and what people did all day in their free time. It explores their expectations, hopes, fears and habits, the rules or lack of rules under which they lived, their happiness and sadness, their sense of being treasured or neglected - all within living memory, from pre-war summers to the late 1970s.
Ysenda takes us back to the long stretch of time from the last days of June till the early days of September - those months when the term-time self was cast off and you could become the person you really were, and you had (if you were lucky) enough hours in the endless succession of days to become good at the things that would later define your adulthood.
The 'showpiece' part of the summer holidays was 'the summer holiday', when families took off to the seaside, or to grandparents' houses teeming with cousins, or on early package holidays to France or Spain, siblings wedged into the back of small cars, roof-racks clattering, mothers preparing picnics. British Summer Time Begins is as much about the long weeks either side of that holiday as the trip itself: the weeks when nothing much officially happened, boredom often lurked nearby, and you vanished for hours on end, nobody much knowing or even caring where you were. Could it be that those unscheduled days were actually the most important and formative of your life?
From the author of the beloved Terms & Conditions, British Summer Time Begins is a delightful, nostalgic and joyous celebration of summers.
Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group
Number of pages: 352
Weight: 280 g
Dimensions: 196 x 126 x 30 mm
'This book has enough stories for a hundred novels ... it is unbearably touching, probably because it is tales of children; their vulnerability, their talents, their dreams. It recalls a shabbier, parochial England ... I wept' - Tanya Gold, Oldie
'[A] joyously addictive history of British summer holidays ... Maxtone Graham is a wonderfully spry and eloquent writer ... she has a fine ear for others' words - and a high sense of comedy' - Laura Cumming, The Observer
'Hilarious, nostalgic and tragic in turns, this captivating social history is a must' - Country Life
'I defy anyone who lived in it not to be irresistibly transported back to their eight-year-old self, reliving the wild, eccentric, poor-yet-rich fun of pre-internet, pre-neurotic-parented childhood. This is a joyous book, one to make you smile in recognition, yearn to talk to your best pals from the time and wish to record your own memories' - Melanie Reid, The Times
'This splendid book rings bells galore ... with her beady eye, Maxtone Graham keeps things tight and purposeful. The sweet aroma of nostalgia is never far away ... this perfect little book serves as both a celebration, and a lament' - Craig Brown, The Mail on Sunday
'A wonderfully evocative and unashamedly nostalgic account of how our childhood minds were formed' - The Guardian
You may also be interested in...
“Summer Holidays nostalgia”
This book is a wonderfully nostalgic journey back to a time when life seemed so simple as a child. I haven't laughed as much since reading her last book about Boarding Schools! The author conveys exactly how... More
A nostalgic trip for those of us who grew up in the 50's and 60's. I found the style of writing quite irritating, much like those TV programmes where we are constantly told what is to come next. I feel a... More
Please sign in to write a review
Would you like to proceed to the App store to download the Waterstones App?
Or, add to basket, pay online, collect in as little as 2 hours, subject to availability.