An Encyclopaedia of Myself

An Encyclopaedia of Myself Nothing wilfully invented Memory invents unbidden The s were not grey In Jonathan Meades s detailed petit point memoir they are luridly polychromatic They were peopled by embittered grotesques b

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  • Title: An Encyclopaedia of Myself
  • Author: Jonathan Meades
  • ISBN: null
  • Page: 179
  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • Nothing wilfully invented Memory invents unbidden The 1950s were not grey In Jonathan Meades s detailed, petit point memoir they are luridly polychromatic They were peopled by embittered grotesques, bogus majors, vicious spinsters, reckless bohos, pompous boors, suicides Death went dogging everywhere Salisbury, where he was brought up, had two industries God and th Nothing wilfully invented Memory invents unbidden The 1950s were not grey In Jonathan Meades s detailed, petit point memoir they are luridly polychromatic They were peopled by embittered grotesques, bogus majors, vicious spinsters, reckless bohos, pompous boors, suicides Death went dogging everywhere Salisbury, where he was brought up, had two industries God and the Cold War, both of which provided a cast of adults for the child to scrutinise desiccated God botherers on the one hand, gung ho chemical warriors on the other The title is grossly inaccurate This book is, rather, a portrait of a disappeared provincial England, a time and place unpeeled with gruesome relish.

    One thought on “An Encyclopaedia of Myself”

    1. I think this might be the book that has finally sold me on the concept of audio-books. At least if they could persuade Mr Meades to provide the narration. Because, truth be told, I find Jonathan Meades word-vomiting loquaciousness compelling on the television, but slightly wearing when I have to put in the effort of parsing it.The book is not really a memoir in the conventional sense, but rather a series of vignettes about his experience of growing up in the 1950s in Salisbury, to parents who ap [...]

    2. I'm a big Jonathan Meades fan so I'm biased. He's not yet a national treasure, like Alan Bennet, but he should be. The problem is that he's not easily classifiable - other than being an iconoclast. He's best known for his writing and TV programmes on architecture. But, a few years ago, he made a documentary on his 1950's childhood in Salisbury and about his father, a sales rep for a biscuit company. It was great. And now, here is his childhood autobiography.Any book that starts with a section ca [...]

    3. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and recommend it strongly. Jonathan Meades has given us a well written and honest account of his formative years. His language is vivid and unfailingly graphic. He constructs fascinating by ways in his short chapters and paints a picture of his life in 1950s and 1960s Salisbury which has aspects of familiarity to all those who grew up at the same time. At the end you know much about him and equally much about post war Britain.

    4. Very much what I expected having read The Fowler Family Business and watched every Meades documentary. It's definitely a plus to be able to imagine him narrating it in his idiosyncratic style. The main downside was the encyclopaedic tendency for repetitive subject matter. Then again childhood often seems unbearably repetitive.

    5. A sweet song to childhood.e 50s, hopeful but still shell is familiar to me although my childhood was the 70s(seems so long ago).e school hierarchy, corner grocers selling England by the poundwhite tinned something or othered sweets and the mystery of alley ways, open fields, the annual escape to the seaside.e world seemed far away; it was far away.l the black and white memories of bruised Britain: cads, moustaches, doctors who lived in the bigger houses.r names now history (Austin, La [...]

    6. Four and a half stars. Masterful prose combined with an incredible memory for detail. This book reveals a vivid picture of Britain in the 50s and early 60s, though not an especially nostalgic one. I wanted more, and time to pass, especially into Meade's young adult years. If you enjoyed this book you should seek out the TV documentary 'Meades Abroad: Salisbury Cathedral', it's probably on YouTube. It explores a lot of the places mentioned.

    7. From Beach's bookshop, where I had my first Trollope, to the 'great British Buggerocracy', Meads presents a wicked, pointillist and Hamiltonian portrait of postwar Britain and especially Salisbury, his home city. Pungent and repellent, not for those he might term the 'aesthetically timid'. Brilliant and original.

    8. I usually avoid these semi-autobiographical tracts however Meades eye for detail is so compelling each chapter becomes a self-contained vingette of a time passed. The title is however a misnomer: it ought to be called 'An Encyclopaedia of My Environment' as it covers everything from architecture to fishing, maids to mothers, with his keynote turn of phrase.

    9. Waspish, erudite, contrary. This is a typically Meadesesque memoir of growing up in Salisbury in the drab 1950s, replete with bogus majors, chemical warfare boffins, malevolent and witch-like virgin aunts and undrinkable home-made plonk. Hilarious and moving fare.

    10. Just loved this biography.With his lovely turn of phrase and fascinating family and neighbours in Salisbury and beyond.Really captures the times and mores of that period.And as you would expect extremely funny.

    11. wonderful wonderful wonderful. All the better for being set so close to where I live now we walk through his childhood memories.

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