So Spirited a Town

Visions and versions of Liverpool

In this highly personal encounter with his native city Nicholas Murray blends literary descriptions of Liverpool across the centuries with his own childhood memories to create an original and nuanced portrait of a remarkable place. The result is a rich mosaic built up from a range of sources: quirky eighteenth- and nineteenth-century guide books, songs, poems, reminiscences, sermons, novels, letters, histories, travelogues, political tracts, autobiographies, essays, journalism, official reports, and jokes.

This is a book about how Liverpool has been seen by others, but it is also a moving record of growing up in Liverpool in the 1950s and 1960s. Never forgetting that De Quincey’s ‘many-languaged town’ is a cosmopolitan, multiracial seaport with a tough history of poverty, industrial strife and migration, Murray explores in an often light-hearted way what it means to be ‘Scouse’.

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