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Tunes on a Penny Whistle: Derbyshire Childhood Paperback – 30 Sep 1993

4.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Sutton Publishing Ltd; 1st ed. edition (30 Sept. 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0750904348
  • ISBN-13: 978-0750904346
  • Product Dimensions: 0.6 x 15.9 x 22.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,633,748 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Pure serendipity brought me to this gem of a book. It is from the Isis Reminiscence series and has a plain, unembellished writing style which gets straight to the point conjuring up images of social solidarity and interdependence in the first half of 20th century UK.

I originally tracked it down because it was mentioned on a radio programme
A Cause for Caroling - the author's grandfather had done a traditional setting to Hark the Herald Angels Sing and I wanted to read the background. There is a bit about local musical customs sprinkled through the book (P72 a lovely description of a carol party setting off on the stroke of midnight on Christmas Eve) but my enthusiasm stems from the window on a bygone age which is meticulously records.

Doris E Coates was born in 1908 into grinding but respectable poverty in the Derbyshire village of Eyam (the famous plague village). This was the age before running water and electricity. The author's own overview in the introduction describes the context of the book as follows:

This account is based on my memories of rural life during the First World War and its aftermath. Though it is set in a Derbyshire village, it is of more than local significance. The picture portrayed could equally be true of a village in the Welsh valleys, or in the small spinning or weaving communities of Yorkshire or Lancashire.

So it is geographically precise but with wider implications for other rural communities and for readers like us 100 years later it's a fascinating piece of social history.

The options available for earning an income are looked at in Chapter 4 Making Ends Meet.
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