Alison Light is the author of the acclaimed Mrs. Woolf and the Servants. She is a contributor to the London Review of Books and writes regularly for the British press. Common People was shortlisted for the 2014 Samuel Johnson Prize in Non-fiction and was a Book of the Year in the Times, Telegraph, Financial Times, Spectator, History Today, and the Scottish Herald.
I read Common People with a mixture of admiration, awe and
sorrow. . . . It is a remarkable achievement and should become a
classic, a worthy successor to E. P. Thompson s Making of the
English Working Class. It is full of humanity. --Margaret
"This is a richly peopled book. . . . Common People is a great deal more than a family history. Light is a literary historian, and her talent here has been to use her skills not just to pursue individuals through the thickets or record offices and county archives, but to set them within their historical era. . . .The achievement of Common People is its triumphant demonstration of the interplay between individual lives and the somber backcloth of economic circumstance. . . . The effect of Common People is to make you aware of the hidden network of anyone's ancestry. In illuminating her own, Light serves up the most powerful family history I have ever read."--Penelope Lively "New York Times Book Review "
"I read Common People with a mixture of admiration, awe and sorrow. . . . It is a remarkable achievement and should become a classic, a worthy successor to E. P. Thompson's Making of the English Working Class. It is full of humanity."--Margaret Drabble