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The deceptive charm of the bourgeoisie

Lynsey Hanley discovers that leaving the skilled tradesman class of her birth to become middle-class and ‘respectable’ comes at a price

14 May 2016

9:00 AM

14 May 2016

9:00 AM

Respectable: The Experience of Class Lynsey Hanley

Allen Lane, pp.240, £16.99, ISBN: 9781846142062

Glimpsing the title of Lynsey Hanley’s absorbing new book as it fell out of the jiffy bag, I found myself thinking of my grandmother, Mrs Lilian Taylor. This lady, who died in 1957, spent the first part of her married life inhabiting a couple of furnished rooms on the western side of Norwich and the second part of it living in a white stucco council house on the newly built Earlham estate.

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