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Society is often talked about as a ladder, which you can climb from bottom to top. The walls are less talked about. This book is about how people try to get over them, what it means if they do, and how class affects all of us.

About the Author

Lynsey Hanley was born in Birmingham and lives in London. She is the author of Estates: An Intimate History, and she is a regular contributor to the Guardian and The New Statesman.


Why is class still so central to the experience of living in Britain? It is an urgent question, evaded through a kind of collective shame, but Lynsey Hanley approaches it with wit and passion. Respectable is pithy and provoking, spiced with the personal but solidly grounded in a lifetime's experience of analysing the world around her. It is one of those valuable books that enables the reader to re-think her past and re-experience her own life. -- Hilary Mantel
Honest, brave and moving, Respectable opens up the emotional experience of navigating across class boundaries in an unequal world. -- Kate Pickett, co-author of THE SPIRIT LEVEL
Ambitious, impressive... There is fury contained within the pages and between the lines of Respectable... an intelligent and important book that deserves to be widely read. -- Colin Grant * Guardian *
Hanley vividly describes the "risky, lonely journey" she undertook from one class to another... She is tremendous at detailing her personal transition -- Craig Brown * Mail on Sunday *

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