Jamie Bruce Lockhart & Alan Macfarlane
Executive format, xvi + 506 pages, plus a Visual Essay of 56 pages [paperback]
ISBN-13: 978-0857182005

Jamie Bruce Lockhart
A5 format, xv + 272 pages, plus a Visual Essay of 64 pages. [paperback]
ISBN-13: 978-0857182012

Alan Macfarlane
A5 format, xi + 268 pages, plus a Visual Essay of 78 pages. [paperback]
ISBN-13: 978-0857181985

The Village Digital Press 2012

[Books available from Amazon, Waterstones etc.]

The period of the later 1940s and first half of the 1950s was a watershed between wartime austerity and the new post-war affluence of later decades. It was when the largest Empire the world has ever known came to a rapid end. With its very different material, medical, social and ideological conditions, those years are familiar yet strange. It is hard to experience that foreign country of the past. One aspect of life at that time which is particularly difficult to enter is the world of childhood. This is because memoirs and autobiographies are usually written many years later, from memory, and with all the distortions of adult hindsight.

In this trilogy, Jamie Bruce Lockhart (former diplomat) and Alan Macfarlane (anthropologist and historian) have reconstructed a contemporary vision of growing up through those years. They use over three hundred letters written by and to them (and by Jamie's younger brother Sandy, later Baron Bruce Lockhart) when they were boarders together at the Dragon preparatory school in North Oxford. They analyse their experiences at school and at home through the use of contemporary sources, not only written accounts but also numerous photographs, drawings and paintings. This is an anthropological and historical evocation of British life. It is also an analysis of one of the most interesting schools of the period, as seen through the eyes of three children who experienced that half-foreign country.

Links to articles on the books

'Understanding Life Backwards' in THE FORTNIGHTLY REVIEW

'Childhood Worlds after the War: The Dragon Triptych' KOI-HAI