A Year in Books/Day 117: Miss Cranston’s Omnibus

  • Title: Miss Cranston’s Omnibus
  • Author: Anna Blair
  • Year Published: 1998 (Shepheard-Walwyn (Publishers) Ltd. for LOMOND BOOKS)
  • Year Purchased: 2002/2003
  • Source: Unknown
  • About: What is it about old folks reminiscing that cuts straight to the bone, brain and heart? Is it because there’s no excess of thought, no emotional grandstanding? There’s a realness that remains-sometimes raw and sorrowful, sometimes light and joyous-but no heaviness. Whatever it is, it’s on stunning display in Miss Cranston’s Omnibus. Author Anna Blair interviewed hundreds of aging Glaswegians about their lifestyles and experiences during the first half of the twentieth century. She wove that material into a larger historical narrative, allowing for as true and clear a picture of the place and time as we’ll ever have. This edition is comprised of two earlier volumes (Tea at Miss Cranston’s and More Tea at Miss Cranston’s), originally published in 1985 and 1991.

    drawing, poster design for Miss Cranston's Tea...

    drawing, poster design for Miss Cranston's Tearooms. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

  • Motivation: Glasgow! History! Nostalgic old people!
  • Times Read: 1
  • Random Excerpt/Page 11: “The photographer of the 1880s swoops under his dark velvet cloth and snaps his fingers at the family group. Breaths are held and, as the cliche says, a moment in time is captured for ever, and with it an array of that era’s fashion from infants’ to grandparents’. Repeat the process every decade and you have a century of change from bonnet to Princess of Wales’ feather, button boot to pink sneaker. Well…You’d have the gamut right enough, as far as the bien-provided were concerned, but for much of that hundred years there was a broad swathe of Glasgow folk a world away from wool and velvet and starched pinafores.”
  • Happiness Scale: 8

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