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Episode 1766             Episode 1768
Episode 1767

Robert Roberts (author)
Mon, 2022-Mar-07 00:27 UTC
Length - 3:12

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Welcome to featured Wiki of the Day where we read the summary of the featured Wikipedia article every day.

The featured article for Monday, 7 March 2022 is Robert Roberts (author).

Robert Roberts (15 June 1905 – 17 September 1974) was an English teacher, writer and social historian, noted for the evocative accounts of his working-class youth he gave in The Classic Slum (1971) and A Ragged Schooling (1976).

Born and raised above his parents' corner shop in a deprived district of Salford, Roberts left school at 14 to undertake a seven-year apprenticeship as a brass finisher. Used as a form of cheap labour to carry out menial tasks, he was dismissed when the apprenticeship ended in 1926. Roberts inherited his mother's love of reading and socialist politics; while he spent the next three years unemployed, he attended evening classes to study foreign languages and social history.

In 1929, he was hired as a tutor at a commercial college. A staunch internationalist, he was dismissed from this job in 1940 when he was exempted as a conscientious objector from military service in the Second World War. After a short period teaching in Liverpool, he spent most of the 1940s and the 1950s working on a relative's farm in Yorkshire while teaching adult education classes and writing for the radio and newspapers. In 1957, he was hired as an education officer at Strangeways Prison in Manchester where he taught illiterate prisoners to read and write, experiences which formed the basis of his first book, Imprisoned Tongues (1968).

In 1971, Roberts followed this up with The Classic Slum, an account of his upbringing in Edwardian Salford which he intermixed with social and oral history. Roberts produced the book to counter what he felt were romantic conceptions of the working-class community in post-war sociological and social history studies; while emphasising the strength of many individual characters, his book highlighted the pervasive and often devastating effects of poverty, as well as the complex status distinctions and conservatism this produced among residents in his "slum". Widely praised on its release, this richly textured account has become a key source for understanding working-class experience in early-20th-century England. Two years later, Roberts moved to Hampshire where he died in 1974. His autobiography, A Ragged Schooling, was published posthumously; also praised, it was a more personal account of his childhood, teenage and early adult years.

This recording reflects the Wikipedia text as of 00:27 UTC on Monday, 7 March 2022.

For the full current version of the article, see Robert Roberts (author) on Wikipedia.

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