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Nigeyb

Nigeyb

Love on the Dole - Walter Greenwood I have recently been reading a lot of 1930s-1940s English fiction - most of it set in and around London. It was interesting to shift geographically up to Salford in the North West. Love On The Dole's dialogue is written in a Northern vernacular & it took me a while to adjust.

This book was published in 1933 and there is a wealth of great period detail but it is the overriding impression of grinding, unremitting poverty that is most powerful. The story is fairly predictable and is centred on the hopelessness and despair of the main characters.

The book's main strength is as a social document of a dreadful, pre-welfare state world, and a reminder of how we must preserve this hard-won social safety net.

By the way, Love on the Dole, was Walter Greenwood's first novel and has never been out of print since. He wrote in on scraps of paper as he tramped the streets looking for work. The authenticity of his own experience imbues this book.