Reviews and Reports

Reviews of publications by Steven King, Florence Boos, and Rachel Woodward and K. Neil Jenkings




Book review


Over recent decades, scholars from a range of disciplines have used life writings from below to explore the lives of people outside elites and the secure middle class. Such texts offer information otherwise unavailable about the decisions people made, and the terms in which they understood or presented their experiences. Three recent monographs about life writings from below in Britain, although dealing with very different genres – pauper letters, working women's autobiographies, military memoirs – across two hundred and fifty years, demonstrate what can be gained from the comparative reading of a corpus of texts.

Author Biography

T.G. Ashplant, Centre for Life-Writing Research, King's College London

T. G. Ashplant is a Visiting Professor at the Centre for Life-Writing Research, King's College London.  He is a social and cultural historian, with a research interest in life writings as a source for exploring the construction and transformation of class and gender subjectivities, and their relationship to political identities.  He has edited the cluster "Life Writing 'from Below' in Europe" (European Journal of Life Writing 7 [2018]); and has co-edited (with Ann-Catrine Edlund and Anna Kuismin) Reading and Writing from Below: Exploring the Margins of Modernity (Umeå: Umeå University and Royal Skyttean Society, 2016).  He is author of Fractured Loyalties: Masculinity, Class and Politics in Britain, 1900-30 (London: RiversOram, 2007); and co-editor (with Gerry Smyth) of  Explorations in Cultural History (London: Pluto Press, 2001).






Reviews and Reports