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Oh Happy Day: Those Times and These Times [9780224090308]

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Carmen Callil explores her roots in a book that is a miracle of research and whose writing is fuelled by righteous anger - a story of Empire, migration and the poverty and injustice of nineteenth-century England

In this remarkable book, writer and founder of Virago Press Carmen Callil discovers the story of her British ancestors, beginning with her great-great-grandmother Sary Lacey.

Born illegitimate in 1808, Sary was an impoverished stocking frame worker in Leicestershire. Through detailed research, we follow Sary from slum to tenement and from pregnancy to pregnancy.

We also meet George Conquest, a canal worker and the father of one of Sary's children. He was sentenced to seven years' transportation to Australia for stealing a piece of hemp, and faced the extraordinary brutality of convict life.

But for George, as for so many destitute and disenfranchised British people like him, Australia turned out to be his Happy Day. He survived, prospered and eventually returned to England, where he met Sary again, after nearly thirty years. He brought her out to Australia, and they were never parted again.

Carmen Callil not only reclaims her ancestors from obscurity but draws telling parallels for our own times in this moving story of poverty, social injustice, empire and migration.

AUTHOR: Carmen Callil was born in Australia but has spent most of her career in the United Kingdom. She founded Virago Press in 1973 and in 1982 became managing director of Chatto & Windus. Her first book, Bad Faith: A Forgotten History of Family and Fatherland, was shortlisted for the Samuel Johnson Award.

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SKU:
9780224090308
ISBN13:
9780224090308
Availability:
Delivery usually in 2-6 working days.
Author:
Carmen Callil
Publisher:
Yellow Jersey Press
Publication:
05-Nov-2020
Format:
Hardback
Pages:
368
Weight:
756 Grams
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