Non-Fiction Books:

Destiny Obscure

Autobiographies of Childhood, Education and Family From the 1820s to the 1920s


Paperback / softback

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Destiny Obscure by John Burnett

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In this companion volume to "Useful Toil", John Burnett has drawn extensively on over 800 previously unpublished manuscripts. The result is a record of childhood that reveals in intimate detail the trials and hard-won triumphs of 19-century working-class life. Besides offering rare insights into the developing child's world of dreams, hopes and fears, they reflect a crucial period in the evolution of a family tradition; a time when, to counteract the brutalizing pressures of urbanization and industrialization, ordinary people turned to each other for support. Children have seldom had a voice in history: individual to the last, these writers and their experiences take their place as part of the essential fabric of our past. Burnett has also plublished "Plenty and Want: A Social History of Diet in England From 1815 to the Present" (Routledge); "A History of the Cost of Living (1969); "The Challenge of the Nineteenth Century" (1970); "Useful Toil" (1974); "Destiny Obscure" (1982); and "Idle Hands: The Experience of Unemployment, 1790-1990" (Routledge).
Release date NZ
June 30th, 1994
Country of Publication
United Kingdom
2nd New edition
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