We are delighted to be launching this year’s Essex Book Festival with Guardian columnist and broadcaster Polly Toynbee. One of the most respected, prolific, and razor-sharp voices in social commentary uses the prism of her extraordinary family to examine the true state of class in Britain.
An Uneasy Inheritance: My Family and Other Radicals
While for generations Polly Toynbee’s ancestors have been committed left-wing rabble-rousers railing against injustice, they could never claim to be working class, settling instead for the prosperous life of academia or journalism enjoyed by their own forebears. So where does that leave their ideals of class equality?
Through a colourful, entertaining examination of her own family – which in addition to her writer father Philip and her historian grandfather Arnold contains everyone from the Glenconners to Jessica Mitford to Bertrand Russell and features ancestral home Castle Howard as a backdrop – Toynbee explores the myth of mobility, the guilt of privilege, and asks for a truly honest conversation about class in Britain.
About the author
Polly Toynbee is a journalist, author, and broadcaster. A Guardian columnist and broadcaster, she was formerly the BBC’s social affairs editor. She has written for the Observer, the Independent and Radio Times and been an editor at the Washington Monthly. She has won numerous awards including a National Press Award and the Orwell Prize for Journalism.
Follow Polly on Twitter @pollytoynbee