Jonathan Meades is the author of two novels, Pompey and The Fowler Family Business, a collection of short stories, Filthy English, three collections of essays and reportage, Peter Knows What Dick Lies, Incest and Morris Dancing and Museum Without Walls, and a box of postcards, Pidgin snaps. His highly acclaimed topographical and architectural films for the BBC include Abroad in Britain, Magnetic North and Meades on France. He lives in Marseille.
An Encyclopaedia of Myself
The 1950s were not grey. In Jonathan Meades’s detailed, petit-point memoir they are luridly polychromatic. They were peopled by embittered grotesques, bogus majors, vicious spinsters, reckless bohos, pompous boors, suicides. Death went dogging everywhere. Salisbury, where he was brought up, had two industries: God and the Cold War, both of which provided a cast of adults for the child to scrutinise – desiccated God-botherers on the one hand, gung-ho chemical warriors on the other. The title is grossly inaccurate. This book is, rather, a portrait of a disappeared provincial England, a time and place unpeeled with gruesome relish.