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Still Life Sketches from a Tunbridge Wells Childhood by Richard Cobb

Still Life Sketches from a Tunbridge Wells Childhood


Still Life Sketches from a Tunbridge Wells Childhood by Richard Cobb

Still Life: Sketches from a Tunbridge Wells Childhood (the sub-title is important) was first published in 1984. It won the J.R. Ackerley Prize for Literary Biography in that year. It is a classic among middle-class memoirs. In twenty-one short chapters the town is vividly anatomized. And so are its residents: meet Dr Ranking and, best of all, meet the Limbury-Buses living a life of contented ossification.'Cobb remembers, and that, as well as his redeeming freedom from all conventional standards of dignity and relevance, is what makes this offbeat, capricious book a rare treasure'. John Carey, Sunday Times 'A remarkable feat of making purest autobiography part of a general, social history... Cobb has broken one of the strangest silences in English social commentary; on the missing history of the English bourgeoisie'. Michael Neve, Times Literary Supplement

About the Author

Richard Cobb (1917-1996) was born at Frinton-on-Sea, Essex, brought up in Tunbridge Wells, and educated at Shrewsbury School and Merton College, Oxford. His first calling was as an historian, he was Professor of Modern History at Oxford from 1973-1984, and his passion was for France and more especially the radical phase of the French Revolution. He was winner of Wolfson Prize for History in 1979, and received several honours from the French government. Later on in his life he turned to autobiography for which he had an idiosyncratic talent. Still Life and A Classical Education are two memorable examples of his writing in this vein.

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Book Info

Publication date

29th May 2008


Richard Cobb

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Faber & Faber


184 pages


Autobiography: general



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