Polly Toynbee: what my privileged start in life taught me about the British class system

It wasn’t just luck that steered the Guardian columnist to Oxford and into a media career ... She reflects on the subtle mechanics of class (and an early encounter with a naked future PM)Children know. They breathe it in early, for there’s no unknowing the difference between nannies, cleaners, below-stairs people and the family upstairs. Children are the go-betweens, one foot in each world, and yet they know very well from the earliest age where they belong, where their destiny lies or, to put it crudely, who pays whom. Tiny hands are steeped young in the essence of class and caste. In nursery school, in reception they see the Harry Potter sorting hat at work. They know. And all through school those fine gradations grow clearer, more precise, more consciously knowing, more shaming, more frightening. Good liberal parents teach their children to check their privilege – useful modern phrase – but it swells up like a bubo on the nose. There’s no hiding it.I can summon up the childhood shame at class embarrassments. Aged seven like me, Maureen, with her hair pinned sideways in a pink slide, lived in a pebble-dashed council house by the water tower. They were at the other end of Lindsey, more hamlet than village, half a mile down the road from my father’s pink thatched cottage set in the flat prairie lands of Suffolk, where I spent half my time, the other half in London, shuttling between divorced parents. I envied Maureen for what looked to me like a cheerful large family... Continue reading at 'The Guardian'

[ The Guardian | 2023-05-20 12:00:56 UTC ]
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Polly Toynbee: what my privileged start in life taught me about the British class system

It wasn’t just luck that steered the Guardian columnist to Oxford and into a media career ... She reflects on the subtle mechanics of class (and an early encounter with a naked future PM)Children know. They breathe it in early, for there’s no unknowing the difference between nannies, cleaners,... Continue reading at The Guardian

[ The Guardian | 2023-05-20 12:00:56 UTC ]
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Granta’s Best of Young British Novelists – meet the class of 23

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Lee Conell’s debut novel is a gripping tale of class and privilege

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[ The Economist | 2020-08-08 00:00:00 UTC ]
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Lee Conell’s debut novel is a gripping tale of class and privilege

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British Book Awards and The Bookseller working class survey shortlisted for PPA Awards

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Want to take control of your digital life? Start with reclaiming leisure time

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Cast breathes life into by-the-book British comedy 'Finding Your Feet'

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[ Los Angeles Times | 2018-03-29 00:00:00 UTC ]
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What book stores and the literary life contribute to ... life

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Best Life Magazine Finds a Second Life as a Digital Brand

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Life After Life for Atkinson backlist

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Week after week for Life After Life

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British Book Awards: The 2024 Trade and Book Honors

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System of a Down singer Serj Tankian's new book details band's up and downs, and what fuels his activism

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[ Los Angeles Times | 2024-05-09 21:29:13 UTC ]
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'Night Watch,' 'A Day in the Life of Abed Salama,' 'King' Among 2024 Pulitzer Prize Winners

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