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The Butcher, the Baker, the Candlestick-Maker
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About the Author

Roger Hutchinson is a full-time writer living on the island of Raasay. Born in 1949 he launched and edited the radical magazine Styng in the north of England, before moving to London and becoming editor of both Oz and IT in the early seventies. In 1975 he became a freelance journalist and went on to author several books on subjects as diverse as the professional tennis circuit, the Royal Family, Bruce Lee and man-eating sharks. Two years later he moved to Skye and joined the West Highland Free Press. He is currently a feature journalist, columnist and reviewer for the WHFP, Scotsman, Herald, Guardian and the Press & Journal. He has won several awards, including North of Scotland Feature Writer of the Year and UK Weekly Sports Writer of the Year. His last book,The Soap Man, was short-listed for The Saltire Book of the Year Award.

Reviews

A quirky mix of broad-sweep history and fascinating nuggets of fact or biography . . . Hutchinson traces the real-life social changes behind Flora Thompson's Lark Rise novels, winkles out Britain's longest-lived citizens and its most prolific mother (Mary Jonas, who bore 33 children before dying aged 85 in 1899). But beneath these eye- catching incidental details lie deeper swells -- Nick Curtis * Evening Standard *
A warm-hearted book about a uniquely British triumph, a resource of a depth unrivalled anywhere in the world . . . His achievement, beneath the joy of the detail, teeming with Dickensian energy, is to suggest that the census is also a story of enterprise, vision, trust and reliability - a force of enlightenment. This is not a dense book. Rather it is light, wry and compassionate * The Times *
Compelling . . . Hutchinson's book is a sobering reminder of how often we have ignored facts and listened to panic merchants * Sunday Telegraph *
Using the census records as the basis for a history of Britain is clearly an excellent idea for a book. Even so. Roger Hutchinson has carried it out particularly well . . . Happily, too. he manages to do this without the result ever becoming merely a blizzard of statistics. Admittedly, if you have ever wondered how many Brits made artificial flowers for a living in 1851. then here's where you'll find out. (Spoiler alert: it was 3.510.) Yet Hutchinson's sharp eye for the telling detail, his deft use of individual stories to illustrate the wider trends and his willingness to throw in any vaguely related facts that he (rightly) thinks we might find interesting make this a book to read with much pleasure * Spectator *
Filled with interesting titbits, the book burrows into the official records to present a story that is sometimes uplifting and, at others, brutally stark * i *
Absorbing . . . uplifting * Scotsman *
Roger Hutchinson combines the history of the census itself with what the census can tell us about British society over the past 200 years, in a remarkably entertaining way * Times Literary Supplement *
This combination of personality and wider perspective, character study and big history, makes for a compelling read. * History Revealed *
so rich in personality and character that we are left wondering where those stories of marriage, migration and ambition went next. Hutchinson can weave a fine tale * BBC History *

Outstanding . . . This is a quite splendid piece of research . . . The private evidence of futility is quiet
and compelling. Hard, bright anecdote and exhausted futility stand proud - memorially! The vainglory of war, but
also of ingenuity and courage ultimately lit up death, and are magnificently served in this calm and brilliant narrative

-- Edward Pearce * Tribune *
Fascinating . . . what it tells us about who we are is simply priceless * Mail on Sunday *
Enthralling * Readers Digest *

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