The Pub and the People: A Worktown Study

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Faber & Faber, Nov 3, 2011 - History - 350 pages

Mass Observation was founded in 1937 with the aim of researching the everyday lives of ordinary people in Britain. One of its best-loved publications is The Pub and the People (1943), a unique study of one of Britain's best-loved pastimes, describing how people behaved in pubs, what and how much they drank, and the decor and layout of the average pre-war alehouse. Alongside sociological interest it offers amusing insights into an era when supping pints was only for the roughest customers, and beer was considered helpful not only to general health ('There is no bad ale, so Grandma said') but also (contra the porter in Macbeth) to the act of love.

'The authors of this book have unearthed much curious information.' George Orwell, Listener

'Anyone with an interest in the history of beer and pubs in Britain ought to read it.' Boak and Bailey's Beer Blog


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About the author (2011)

Mass Observation was founded in 1937 by Tom Harrission, Charles Madge and Humphrey Jennings. Its purpose was to create an 'anthropology of ourselves', in other words, to provide a study of the everyday lives of ordinary people in Britain.

In its first period, from 1937 to 1950, it published twenty-two books, many of which are being reissued in Faber Finds. These books constitute a unique social history of the period.

Since 1970 the Mass Observation Archive has been at Sussex University. In 1981 the New Mass Observation Project was born. It is run from the Archive under the direction of Dorothy Sheridan.

The Archive is a magnificent resource which continues to provide rich material for books. Recent publications have included Nella Last's War, Nella Last's Peace, Our Longest Days (all published by Profile) and three selections of Mass Observation Diaries of the Second World War and just after , edited by Simon Garfield and published by Ebury Press.

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