Richard Hoggart's book, The Uses of Literacy, established his reputation as a uniquely sensitive and observant chronicler of English working-class life. This large volume vividly depicts his origins in that setting. It is an autobiographical account combining Hoggart's three masterful works, A Local Habitation, A Sort of Clowning, and An Imagined Life, in which he details his life from 1918 to the present.The first part of the trilogy (1918-1940) describes Hoggart at an early age, recreating his circle of family and friends. It ends with him earning his degree from Leeds University, and about to leave Yorkshire to go into the army. The second section (1940-1959) opens in wartime England and moves into the beginnings of Hoggart's career in writing. The final installment (1959-1991) traces and assesses a changing Britain and Europe and finds Hoggart reconsidering to his childhood. The book provides vivid insight into the life of one of Britain's outstanding writers, and chronicles changes in working-class and English culture after World War I to the present. Following the original publication, Philip Oakes of The Times Literary Supplement wrote, "He writes with a passion that is usually well banked, but which flows now and then with a visionary intensity. It is a remarkable way of looking at England." Beryl Bainbridge, writing for the New Statesman, said, "The setting of his own life in the context of social history makes Hoggart the ideal autobiographer." A Measure Life will be an enjoyable and insightful read for students of literature, culture, and English history as well as admirers of Richard Hoggart. Few will walk away from this volume without being the wiser with respect to Western liberal thought in our times.
Table of Contents
Introduction to the American Edition, A Local Habitation, Acknowledgments, Preface, Chapter 1 ST JAMES’S, Chapter 2 POTTENEWTON, Chapter 3 NEWPORT STREET, Chapter 4 HUNSLET, HOLBECK AND BEYOND, Chapter 5 INTERLUDE : LEEDS AT LARGE, Chapter 6 JACK LANE, Chapter 7 COCKBURN, Chapter 8 UNIVERSITY, INDEX, A Sort of Clowning, Acknowledgments, Preface, PART ONE: THE WAR YEARS, 1 Oswestry to the Otranto 1940—2, 2 North Africa and Pantelleria 1942—3, 3 Naples 1943—6, PART TWO: WANDERING TEACHER, 4 Redcar and Marske 1946—9, 5 Hull: Settings and Settling In 1949—59, 6 Teaching-and-Writing The 1950s, 7 Interlude — USA 1956—7, PART THREE: TAKING STOCK, 8 ‘There’s no Vocabulary’: on Family Life, 9 A Shape Proper to Itself?: On Writing a ‘Life and Times’, Index, An Imagined Life, Acknowledgments, Preface, PART ONE: PROVINCIAL AND NATIONAL: THE 1960s, 1 The Delta: Going Public, 2 Mild Midlands: Leicester, 1959—64, 3 Picked Up By the Tide: Lady Chatterley's Lover and the Pilkington Report, 1960—2, 4 Great Hopes from Birmingham, 1962—70, 5 Expansion and Permissiveness: The University Liberated?, PART TWO: INTERNATIONAL LIFE AND BACK TO BRITAIN: THE 1970s AND 1980s, 6 A World Apart: UNESCO, 1970—5, 7 The Great Tradition Revisited: Goldsmiths’, 1976—84, 8 Culture, Communications, Censorship Revisited, 1976—91, 9 Lantern on the Stern: Convictions, Language, Growing Old, Index
Richard Hoggart, as professor of modern English literature at Birmingham University, founded the Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies. He has authored or edited over twenty-five books, including Between Two Worlds: Politics, Anti-Politics, and the Unpolitical, The Uses of Literacy, and The Tyranny of Relativism.