Carmen Callil explores her roots in a book that is a miracle of research and whose writing is fuelled by righteous anger - a story of Empire, migration and the poverty and injustices of nineteenth-century England.
Carmen Callil was born in Australia but has spent most of her career in the United Kingdom. She founded Virago Press in 1973 and in 1982 became managing director of Chatto & Windus. Her first book, Bad Faith- A Forgotten History of Family and Fatherland, was shortlisted for the Samuel Johnson Award.
Oh Happy Day is a phenomenal achievement... The book covers
great swathes of history, giving us an insight into the Luddites,
the Chartists, the nonconformist churches, the journeys to the
Antipodes, the white Australia policy and the stealing of land from
the Aborigines: all the political events that were unfolding as her
ancestors forged their way in the world... These are intriguing
stories. -- Dani Garavelli * Herald Scotland *
An absorbing account of empire, migration, the poverty of injustice and enduring love... The book bristles with Callil's righteous anger at the injustices meted out to her forbears, and at the parallels for our own times. -- Caroline Sanderson * The Bookseller *