Alison Light will discuss her new book Common People: The History of An English Family, which has been shortlisted for the Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction. She will be joined by Laura Marcus (Goldsmiths' Professor of English Literature, University of Oxford), Selina Todd (Lecturer in Modern British History, University of Oxford) and Lyndal Roper (Regius Professor of History, University of Oxford).
There will be time for general discussion and audience questions. Please join us for a sandwich lunch from 12:45, with discussion from 13:00 to 13:45.
About the book: Family history is a massive phenomenon of our times, but what are we after when we go in search of our ancestors? Beginning with her grandparents, Alison Light moves between the present and the past, in an extraordinary series of journeys over two centuries, across Britain and beyond. Epic in scope and deep in feeling, Common People is a family history but also a new kind of public history, following the lives of the migrants who travelled the country looking for work. Original and eloquent, it is a timely rethinking of who the English were - but ultimately it reflects on history itself, and on our constant need to know who went before us and what we owe them.