The Book Club

Ysenda Maxtone Graham: British Summer Time Begins

30 min listen

In this week’s books podcast my guest is the writer Ysenda Maxtone Graham, whose new book casts a rosy look back at the way children used to spend their summer holidays. British Summer Time Begins: The School Summer Holidays 1930-1980 is a work of oral history that covers everything from damp sandwiches and cruelty to animals to tree-climbing, messing about in boats or endless games of Monopoly; intimidating fathers, frustrated mothers and grandparents who, if you weren’t careful, would eat your pet rabbit. The good old days, in other words. Ysenda tells me why she sees ‘spiritual danger’ in iPads, how she longed to visit a motorway service station on the M2 – and how a childhood of constant hunger and warmed-through digestive biscuits may have shaped the psychology of our current Prime Minister.


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