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Oh Happy Day: Those Times and These Times

Oh Happy Day: Those Times and These Times by Carmen Callil, ISBN: 9780224090308
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ISBN: 9780224090308
Publisher: Jonathan Cape
Published: 28 May, 2020
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Links Penguin AU
Saving: Saving: $20.18 or 49%

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Oh Happy Day: Those Times and These Times

Carmen Callil explores her roots in a book that is a miracle of research and whose writing is fuelled by righteous anger - a story of Empire, migration and the poverty and injustice of nineteenth-century England In this remarkable book, writer and founder of Virago Press Carmen Callil discovers the story of her British ancestors, beginning with her great-great-grandmother Sary Lacey. Born illegitimate in 1808, Sary was an impoverished stocking frame worker in Leicestershire. Through detailed research, we follow Sary from slum to tenement and from pregnancy to pregnancy. We also meet George Conquest, a canal worker and the father of one of Sary's children. He was sentenced to seven years' transportation to Australia for stealing a piece of hemp, and faced the extraordinary brutality of convict life. But for George, as for so many destitute and disenfranchised British people like him, Australia turned out to be his Happy Day. He survived, prospered and eventually returned to England, where he met Sary again, after nearly thirty years. He brought her out to Australia, and they were never parted again. Carmen Callil not only reclaims her ancestors from obscurity but draws telling parallels for our own times in this moving story of poverty, social injustice, empire and migration.

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