Richard Hoggart

A Local Habitation
  • A Local Habitation

  • Richard Hoggart

    Richard Hoggart's book, The Uses of Literary, established his reputation as a uniquely sensitive and observant chronicler of English working-class life. In this vivid first volume of autobiography he describes his origins in that milieu. Orphaned at an early age, Hoggart grew up in a working-class district of Leeds, in an intimate world of terraced back-to-backs, visits from the local Board of Guardians, clothing checks and potted-meat sandwiches. With affectionate insight he recreates the family circle - a loving grandmother, one domineering and on gentle aunt, and a bibulous, melancholy uncle - and recalls his early schooling, the friends he made and the mentors he admired. Hard-working and articulate, Hoggart did well enough at grammar school to go on to Leeds University. This volume ends as, having earned a higher degree and travelled in Nazi Germany, he prepares to leave Yorkshire, via the Army, for the world beyond. Wry, compassionate, exact, A Local Habitation is a classic recreation of working-class England between the wars.

Richard Hoggart was born in Leeds and educated at Leeds University. As Professor of Modern English Literature at Birmingham University, he founded the Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies. For five years he was assistant Director of Unesco at its headquarters in Paris, where he and his wife still live. Until 1984 he was Warden of Goldsmith's College, University of London. His many works range from The Uses of Literacy, Speaking to Each Other, An English Temper, to An Idea of Europe (with Douglas Johnson). His recent work includes the highly acclaimed autobiographical trilogy A Local Habitation, A Sort of Clowning, and An Imagined Life, and the inimitable study of modern provincial life, Townscape with Figures: Farnham - Portrait of an English Town.