An Encyclopaedia of Myself
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers UK
Date: May 2014
Duration: 12 hours 32 minutes
LONGLISTED FOR THE SAMUEL JOHNSON PRIZE 2014
ÔA symphonic poem about postwar England and Englishness É A masterpieceÕ Financial Times
The 1950s were not grey. In Jonathan MeadesÕs detailed, petit-point memoir they are luridly polychromatic. They were peopled by embittered grotesques, bogus majors, vicious spinsters, reckless bohos, pompous boors, drunks, suicides. Death went dogging everywhere. Salisbury had two industries: God and the Cold War. For the child, delight is to be found everywhere Ð in the intense observation of adult frailties, in landscapes and prepubescent sex, in calligraphy and in rivers.
This memoir is an engrossing portrait of a disappeared provincial England, a time and place unpeeled with gruesome relish.