At the beginning of each decade for 200 years the national census has presented a self-portrait of the British Isles. The census has surveyed Britain from the Napoleonic wars to the age of the internet, through the agricultural and industrial revolutions, possession of the biggest empire on earth and the devastation of the 20th century's two world wars. In The Butcher, the Baker, the Candlestick Maker, Roger Hutchinson looks at every census between the first in 1801 and the latest in 2011. He uses this much-loved resource of family historians to paint a vivid picture of a society experiencing unprecedented changes. Hutchinson explores the controversial creation of the British census. He follows its development from a head-count of the population conducted by clerks with quill pens, to a computerised survey which is designed to discover 'the address, place of birth, religion, marital status, ability to speak English and self-perceived national identity of every twenty-seven-year-old Welsh-speaking Sikh metalworker living in Swansea'. The Butcher, the Baker, the Candlestick Maker is as original and unique as those people and their islands on the cutting edge of Europe.
'A quirky mix of broad-sweep history and fascinating nuggets of fact or biography ... Hutchinson traces the real-life social changes behind Flora Thompson's Lark Rise novels, winkles out Britain's longest-lived citizens and its most prolific mother (Mary Jonas, who bore 33 children before dying aged 85 in 1899). But beneath these eye- catching incidental details lie deeper swells' -- Nick Curtis Evening Standard
'A warm-hearted book about a uniquely British triumph, a resource of a depth unrivalled anywhere in the world ... His achievement, beneath the joy of the detail, teeming with Dickensian energy, is to suggest that the census is also a story of enterprise, vision, trust and reliability - a force of enlightenment. This is not a dense book. Rather it is light, wry and compassionate' The Times
Publication date: 02/02/2017
|Publication date:||2nd February 2017|
|Genres:||Biography / Autobiography, eBook Favourites, The Real World,|
|Categories:||Social & cultural history,|
Roger Hutchinson is an award-winning author and journalist. After working as an editor in London, in 1977 he joined the West Highland Free Press in Skye. Since then he has published thirteen books, including Polly: the True Story Behind Whisky Galore. He is still attached to the WHFP as editorialist and columnist, and has written for BBC Radio, The Scotsman, The Guardian, The Herald and The Literary Review. His book The Soap Man (Birlinn 2003) was shortlisted for the Saltire Scottish Book of the Year (2004). Calum’s Road has been a huge bestseller, shortlisted for the Ondaatje Prize (2007) with film rights ...More About Roger Hutchinson