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Nab End and Beyond: The Road to Nab End and Beyond Nab End (Abacus)

by William Woodruff

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This autobiography by a great modern historian provides testimonial details of an age now vanished. The working class son of an industrial machine weaver in northern England, born 1916 in the carding-room of a Blackburn cotton mill, tells of his childhood in the depths of the economic Depression. He survives work as a sand-rat in a smelter, the filthy squalor of London, introduction into the pastoral rigors of academic competition in Oxford--courtesy of Labour Party grants--travels across Europe, and two World Wars.

The author is a respected economic historian -- with fellowships and teaching positions in Oxford, Harvard, Princeton, University of Illinois, Florida, Melbourne, and institutions in Berlin and Tokyo.

This work is the omnibus edition of his two-part autobiography. Died in 2008, age 92. ( )
  keylawk | Jan 21, 2012 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0349119872, Paperback)

William Woodruff had the sort of childhood satirized in the famous Monty Python Yorkshireman sketch. The son of a weaver, he was born on a pallet of straw at the back of the mill and two days later his mother was back at work. Life was extremely tough for the family in 1920's Blackburn—a treat was sheep's head or cow heel soup—and got worse when his father lost his job when the cotton industry started its terminal decline. At 16, William leaves the poverty of Blackburn for London, where he finds no streets paved with gold, but filthy tenements and such squalor only a great city can conceal. He gets a job in an iron foundry and finds lodgings with a beer-swilling landlady and her family—a predatory daughter, and a tattooed madman of a son with whom he has to share his bed. Then, at night school, William discovers his love of learning, which eventually takes him to Plater college, Oxford. As Mosley's blackshirts provoke fighting on the streets, William witnesses the courage of ordinary people in the face of war: a war in which he himself will soon be fighting

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:23:11 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

William Woodruff had the sort of childhood satirised in the famous Monty Python Yorkshireman sketch. The son of a weaver, he was born on a pallet of straw at the back of the mill and two days later his mother was back at work. Life was extrememly tough for the family in 1920's Blackburn - a treat was sheep's head or cow heel soup - and got worse when his father lost his job when the cotton industry started its terminal decline. At 16, William leaves the poverty of Blackburn for London, where he finds no streets paved with gold, but filthy tenements and such squalor only a great city can conceal. He gets a job in an iron foundry and finds lodgings with a beer-swilling landlady and her family - a predatory daughter, and a tattooed madman of a son with whom he has to share his bed. Then, at night school, William discovers his love of learning, which eventually takes him to Plater college, Oxford. As Mosley's blackshirts provoke fighting on the streets, William witnesses the courage of ordinary people in the face of war: a war in which he himself will soon be fighting.… (more)

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