Wednesday, 4 January 2017

Read in 2016 - 47: Yorkshire - A Very Peculiar History

Even if you have not been reading my blog for long, you will probably be aware of my love for all things Yorkshire. When a friend of mine gave me this book by John Malam, "Yorkshire - A Very Peculiar History" for my birthday this last year, I was very much looking forward to reading it.


Can you believe it took me until the end of 2016 to finsih it? Well, it is easily explained: I didn't read it in one go. Instead, I kept it handy on a shelf where I walk past several times a day, and whenever I found a spare minute or two, I would open the book and read a few pages.

This book lends itself beautifully to such short reading sessions. It is divided into 12 chapters plus an introduction, a glossary, a timeline of Yorkshire history and an index.
The history chapters span the period from Prehistoric times to the conflict between Royalists and Roundheads in the 1700s. Chapter 11 is titled "Made in Yorkshire and proud of it!", while chapter 12 offers a "Yorkshire factfile", which is interesting and amusing and could come handy in the odd pub quiz.

Historic facts are presented in an easy-to-read and often witty way (without trying to make the past look better than it was). What happened is described in a detailed enough manner, at the same time keeping in mind the bigger picture. I really enjoyed reading up about things I only had a sketchy idea of, or didn't know anything at all. It is a small enough book to keep within easy reach, and a good source for reference.

About the author, I found this brief note on the publisher's website: "John Malam attended the University of Birmingham before working in publishing. He is now a writer and editor with over 20 years experience in producing books for children. He lives in Cheshire with his family."

4 comments:

  1. It's a very apt title Meike. Yorkshire is a very peculiar place......if you are a Lancastrian. Indeed it is if you are from anywhere apart from Yorkshire.

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    1. The same could be said about nearly every other place or region, I suppose - even my home region of W├╝rttemberg has its peculiarities, last but not least our dialect!

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  2. Did they mention anything about James Herriot? I hope so!

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    1. Now that you mention him, I honestly can't remember! I read this book in mini-sessions, stretching over many weeks. But they do not say much about more recent people and events.

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