Was that an eminent writer aka historian of east London giving a talk or was it a drop-in session for coffee cup holding hairies and mobile-charging fidgets?
Never seen the like.
The Whitechapel Idea Store was buzzing. Who designed that dirty -looking box of a building? My friend couldn’t find it ; the second biggest monolith on the block. Volunteers working cheerily for the Literary Festival were everywhere as were the free pens and coffee.
Jerry White started his presentation quietly and I thought we thirty people were in for an hour of seat-numbing boredom. Not so. That man knows his stuff and kept on target. Very happy I attended despite people going in and out of the swing doors,. Doesn’t that look rude to other people? Some great questions about WW1 and the people living through it came from the floor. There were the inevitable questions about the role of women and them pesky Suffragettes. The conversation swung to the fact that opponents to the Great War were compliant and ceased their noise-making. I was forced to stand on my feet, mic-less and declare that history records through accounts and records the considered opposition by the dangerous women of the WILPF, The Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom. Stamp that floor and clap those hands. True to form the male historian wasn’t too up on that WILPH stuff. That’s exactly how history or herstory here gets hidden. Jerry’s book panders to the loveliness of multi-culture and he was quite rehearsed in talking about the Chinese of Limehouse and the Lascars of Wapping and their Legacy.
Whatevs. It was jolly good because we the public were well-received and the acts are first-class…Gentle Author tomorrow. Yay!