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Synopsis

Still Life: Sketches from a Tunbridge Wells Childhood (the sub-title is important) was first published in 1984. It won the J.R. Ackerley Prize for Literary Biography in that year. It is a classic among middle-class memoirs. In twenty-one short chapters the town is vividly anatomized. So too are its residents: meet Dr Ranking and, best of all, meet the Limbury-Buses living a life of contented ossification.

'Cobb remembers, and that, as well as his redeeming freedom from all conventional standards of dignity and relevance, is what makes this offbeat, capricious book a rare treasure'. John Carey, Sunday Times

'A remarkable feat of making purest autobiography part of a general, social history... Cobb has broken one of the strangest silences in English social commentary; on the missing history of the English bourgeoisie'. Michael Neve, Times Literary Supplement

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