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Showing posts from March, 2022

My Month in Books: March 2022

  I look at two stories of twentieth-century working-class lives this month - Raymond Williams's 1960 novel, Border Country , and Dorothy Whipple's High Wages . Williams explore the lives of a family living in a small rural community on the borders of Wales and England, and Whipple looks at the challenges faced by an ambitious shop assistant in a Lancashire town. Border Country , Raymond Williams (Chatto & Windus, 1960) The borders in Raymond Williams’s fine novel are geographic, emotional, social and existential. Geographically, it is situated in the Welsh marches in Glynmawr, a fictitious Welsh village so close to England its inhabitants can nip over for a drink on Sundays, when pubs in Wales are closed. The characters also cross other borders: Matthew Price, son of a working class couple, was brought up in Glynmawr but is now a university lecturer living in London. Summoned to his father’s sick bed, he returns to his home country, where he finds the dissonance between