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Still lifestyles: Sketches from a Tunbridge Wells Childhood (the sub-title is critical) used to be first released in 1984. It received the J.R. Ackerley Prize for Literary Biography in that 12 months. it's a vintage between middle-class memoirs. In twenty-one brief chapters the city is vividly anatomized. So too are its citizens: meet Dr score and, better of all, meet the Limbury-Buses residing a lifetime of contented ossification.

'Cobb recollects, and that, in addition to his redeeming freedom from all traditional criteria of dignity and relevance, is what makes this offbeat, capricious publication an extraordinary treasure'. John Carey, Sunday Times

'A extraordinary feat of creating purest autobiography a part of a normal, social history... Cobb has damaged one of many strangest silences in English social statement; at the lacking historical past of the English bourgeoisie'. Michael Neve, Times Literary Supplement

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My aunt Emily went to King seventy eight The outdoors international Charles, as the medical professionals went there ; my uncle Jack went to the massive Victorian church in Theale, simply because his wealthier went there; my uncle Percy went to the garrison Portsmouth, simply because he was once a surgeon-commander within the military and it used to be a part of the drill; my aunt Mabel went to the parish church at Chevening as the Earl of Stanhope went there; my aunt Jane went to Girton chapel simply because she was once backyard Steward of the school, my uncle Vernon went to the Greek Orthodox Cathedral in London simply because his spouse was once Greek and Orthodox. basically my aunt Mary, a loner and the main autonomous member of my mother's relatives, and in addition the kindest, the gentlest, the main beneficiant, and the main unassuming, a tiny little lady, birdlike, with sharp gray eyes in the back of a couple of rimless pince-nez - by no means went to church and, after I had left university, she used to be within the behavior of asking me to sherry, at her flat in St John's wooden, through lunch, with wine, in a cafe within reach; sherry was once continually at 11 sharp, so one can exclude church. yet then she lived on my own, and in London, and didn't have to fret approximately what people concept. Later, she died on my own, in her flat and her physique was once now not chanced on for 3 days. nobody had spotted. She might have loved such an unobtrusive go out. sufferers church in ; ; the surface international 10 I have little political reminiscence oi politics. city. I It doesn't appear to have been a had spotted the neighborhood headquarters of the Conservative social gathering, no longer due to that, yet simply because Thackeray had lived in it whereas writing The Newcombs giving the home, which confronted onto the typical, loads of status in my eyes. If I had recognized whatever approximately politics, i'd have requested myself why the Conservative social gathering must have wanted a headquarters in Tunbridge Wells. The M. P. , Colonel Spender-Clay (a identify that looked as if it would spell out affluence), if no longer , seventy nine Still lifestyles hereditary, was once perpetual, although I beheve he did finally have a successor on the finish of the thirties. After the constituency was once represented by means of the son of battle the Mrs Wellington- who performed Bridge and lived in a tremendous condo on Frant eco-friendly, so maybe being double-barrelled was once a Williams, a woman situation of popularity. I think least, my mom and dad seemed themselves as Liberals; they learn a Liberal newspaper for so long as it at lasted either ; professed predicament for the Underdog (a hindrance i didn't proportion, any type of puppy filling me with apprehension and loathing). in the course of the basic Strike, my father were sworn in as a distinct Constable and have been supplied with a blue-and- white striped armband and a wood truncheon with a leather-based thong (which he used to be allowed to maintain, for I nonetheless have it); yet i do not believe he ever needed to use it. definitely, Whale and her colleagues below-stairs by no means went on strike. it seems that many of the trains have been pushed, it was once stated, via 'undergrads'. prepare dinner used to be , malignant determine, who lived very far off, someplace within the north.

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