A Brush with the Past 1900-1950 by Shirley Hughes

A Brush with the Past 1900-1950

Written by Shirley Hughes

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The Lovereading4Kids comment

Shirley Hughes’s beautiful illustrations full of carefully researched period detail, go right to the heart of the social changes that took place in the first half of the century. Different fashions, different foods, different working practices, different dances – all sorts of small things that effect everybody’s daily lives are illustrated in black and white sketches while big colour pictures portray some of the most important moments such as life in the trenches during the First World War. It’s a fascinating record, ideal for anyone interested in social history.


A Brush with the Past 1900-1950 by Shirley Hughes

Shirley Hughes' rich narrative paintings and finely observed line illustrations are interwoven with fascinating details, capturing the atmosphere of the era. Stunning double-page spreads offer poignant snapshots of life, from an elegant Edwardian picnic to afternoon tea in the trenches during the First World War. Each spread is followed by a ‘scrapbook’ of the times, featuring fascinating details about domestic life and the events and innovations that shaped the modern world.

This is an intimate book of stories within stories, told from the author's own personal experience.


Shirley Hughes has created a new kind of non-fiction with this combination of sketchbook and history book . . . The ecleticism of the drawings inescapably places the grave and the frivolous side by side, but the book offers not only a useful timeline but also a valuable guide to how history used to look -- Nicolette Jones * The Sunday Times * There is much to reflect on . . . This is a fascinating book for children and adults -- Kate Agnew * Guardian * A fascinating personal selection . . . One for the whole family to talk about * Carousel * Richly narrative paintings and finely observed line illustrations are interwoven with fascinating details, capturing the atmosphere of an extraordinarily exciting era * Good Book Guide * Brings the past to life in a new way -- Julia Eccleshare * Front Row, BBC Radio 4 *

About the Author

Shirley Hughes

Winner of the Book Trust Lifetime Achievement Award 2015.

Shirley Hughes has won many prestigious awards, including the Kate Greenaway Medal twice. She began to write and design her own picture books when she had a young family and has now published more than two hundred titles. Shirley's first novel, Hero on a Bicycle (9781406336115) was published by Walker in 2012, and her critically acclaimed adventure, Whistling in the Dark was published in 2015. She lives in West London.

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Book Info


112 pages


Shirley Hughes
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Random House Children's Books

Publication date

6th October 2005




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