‘Entertaining and absorbing’ – The Sunday Times
A wonderfully written and entertaining book which places Britain under the microscope and asks who we are today and how we’ve changed as a nation.
In 1841 there were 734 female midwives working in Britain, along with 9 artificial eye makers, 20 peg makers, 6 stamp makers and 1 bee dealer. Fast forward nearly two centuries and there are 51,000 midwives working in the UK and not an eye maker in sight!
For the past two centuries, through the Census and national surveys, the Office for National Statistics and its predecessors have charted the lives of the British: our jobs, home lives and strange cultural habits. With questions on occupation, housing, religion, travel and family, the Census findings have informed the economy, politics, and every other national matter. Its collected data forms the single most valuable ongoing historical resource of modern times.
Now, for the first time ever, The Official History of Britain collects these findings into a wonderfully written and entertaining book by Boris Starling and assisted by the ONS’ statistical advisor, David Bradbury. Delving deep into statistics surrounding our occupations, our working lives, relationships; our quirks, habits, weird interests and cultural beliefs, and, of course, the latest findings on the Covid-19 pandemic, The Official History of Britain places Britain under the microscope and asks who we are and how we’ve changed as a nation.