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Oh Happy Day
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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.

About the Author

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.

Reviews

[A] remarkable tale...drawing chilling parellels to the inequalities of our time... A book that is both a heartfelt outpouring of pity and sorrow and an irate demand for restitution... Oh Happy Day deserves to be called Dickensian. -- Peter Conrad * Observer *
Fascinating... [Oh Happy Day] evokes echoes of the present in speaking about the past, as all great works of history do. It's a gripping narrative. -- Erica Wagner * Harper's Bazaar *
Powerfully told... [Oh Happy Day is] an impressive work, shining merciless beams of light on murky specifics of the early 1800s... She's such a forceful writer. -- Ysenda Maxtone Graham * The Times *
An extraordinary reclamation of lives usually lost to history... A model of how to construct a compelling narrative from patchy material... Other writers, from Dickens onwards, have exposed these hardships: few have done so with the rigour and bitter irony that Callil employs. -- Nicholas Clee * BookBrunch *
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 *

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