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The Young Ardizzone: An Autobiographical…

The Young Ardizzone: An Autobiographical Fragment (1970)

by Edward Ardizzone

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4½/5 ( )
  Bagpuss | Jan 17, 2016 |
An entertaining little memoir of rural and suburban middle-class life in the early 20th century. Although set in southern England (ranging from Ipswich to Bath via London and Wokingham), it is touched with the exotic, as Ardizzone's father was a French Catholic of Italian extraction who worked in the Far East. Young Edward begins his tale in 1905 as a five-year-old in a Suffolk village, passing unhappily through Ipswich Grammar School,, and then slightly less unhappily through boarding school and commercial college, failing the Amry medical exam at the tail end of the Great War, finding employment as a clerk in brown and stuffy offices in post-Dickensian London, and finally stumbling into his true vocation as an artist and illustrator. Memorable scenes include the paroxysms of his irascible Victorian grandmother, the visit to an aunt in a Belgian convent, and the image of boys at harvest time circling the shrinking stand of corn, waiting to clobber any fleeing rabbits.

MB 16-x-2012 ( )
  MyopicBookworm | Oct 16, 2012 |
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I was born, the eldest of five children, on 16th October 1900, in the town of Haiphong in the province of Tonkin.
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