Monday, 1 May 2006

History in old books

Whilst waiting for a banana cake to bake I'm blogging about the latest book I'm reading. It was a gift from my cousin which she picked up from an old book shop near Arundel Castle the other week and she picked a good 'un.

North Midland Country by J H Ingram was published in the winter of 1947-8 by Baisford. It describes this part of the country in post war Britain and is quite striking in places. He talks about the impending world famine and the effects of not only the Industrial Revolution on the countryside but also between the very wealthy and the government of the increasing "No Trespassing" signs going up and greats portions of the country being unaccessible to the English people.

For various reasons I am very interested in various parts of this country as some of my ancesters harked from here or else I am just fascinated because of the places I am familiar with now.

What I love about such old books are the perspectives or views offered up. This book is wonderful and "spot on" but I have read others that are so frighteningly politically incorrect that they are very funny. Well, maybe not but they certainly are a fascinating read until you get bored of such barbaric ideology. Something to be said for yellowing pages with an insight into how things used to be. But just to contradict myself, this shows that some things do not change:

J H Ingram speaks of the youth:
"There is a fresh, healthy, happy look about them, and a vivacity and zest for life which puts to shame the pessimistic remarks made by the old women of both sexes that the young people of today aren't what they were in their young days."

Original Comments:

Ally said...
Every generation thinks the one after them is going to the dogs ... :).

I love old books like that, too - they're a window in to how people's views / needs / acceptance of everyday things change over time.
Tuesday, May 02, 2006 9:02:00 AM
Neutron said...
"old women of both sexes"! Brilliant.
Tuesday, May 02, 2006 10:57:00 PM
Gerald Ford said...
Speaking of old books making startling predictions, I remember reading Lenin's "On Imperialism" a few years back. He wrote in the 1910's about the growing power of corporations and predicted they would become multinational entities.

Kind of creepy in that it sort of turns out to be true.

I mention all this since May Day just came and passed. ;p
Wednesday, May 03, 2006 5:56:00 AM
Milt Bogs said...
"The old women of both sexes" rings a bell.
I think that hearing test is duff. Even without my hearing aid it claimed I was "within the normal range" too. I'm devastated.
Wednesday, May 03, 2006 8:26:00 PM
jane said...
It's remarkable that generation gaps are always met with the same types of comments. "What's wrong with kids these days, didn't their parents teach them manners?" and so on.
I LOVE to read books, I could make a career of it, really. My dad was in England during WWII, it was something he engrained in my brain before he passed on because I kept assuming he was in Germany or Japan.
I just read a book titled, Anneliese. It was about a young Christian German girl during WWII. Slow reading, but it was informative as far as how they had to survive.
Now I'm onto the Vietnam war books.
Sorry for rambling again
Wednesday, May 03, 2006 11:09:00 PM
mrshellonheels said...
I love to read..anything and everything. ((((Gran))))
Thursday, May 04, 2006 5:32:00 AM
Ghone said...
Mrs Pig kindly serves me warm banana cake with Green & Black's vanilla ice cream on top.
Mmmm... I'm starting to dribble in my keyboard!
Thursday, May 04, 2006 11:01:00 PM
Annie said...
I love reading old books. I have a collection of the 'Chalet School' books by Elinor M Brent-Dyer, and love the old-fashioned outlook, although it's very non-PC. I also enjoy reading recent books about social history, and am a sucker for archive film and photos.
Saturday, May 06, 2006 12:46:00 AM
Badaunt said...
I LOVE reading old books. A while ago I read a whole bunch of Michael Innes books - amazingly old fashioned sometimes. Other times less so. But beautifully written - the language is marvellous. I love the style. Funny, too.

Of course they're not THAT old...
Saturday, May 06, 2006 3:24:00 PM
ChelseaFCChick said...
Another old book lover here.

I love reading about the world wars and have quite a fascination with history (the 20thC especially).

It is definitely interesting to read the perspectives or views in old books.
Saturday, May 06, 2006 5:35:00 PM
Writer Mom said...
I was here before, then ran off to pull out some favorite quotes.
I was also a bit tipsy, so I forgot to come back.
I'm back, and I've missed stopping in!
Saturday, May 06, 2006 10:50:00 PM
Tony said...
You might find it interesting to look at some of George Orwell's 1947 observations, here.
Saturday, May 13, 2006 11:27:00 AM

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