The folks at Faber do it again: swelling the ranks of the Faber Finds imprint – which aims to bring lost classics and the works of great but forgotten authors back into readers’ hands – come the Mass Observation books, which documented the daily ups, downs and intimate mundanities of civilians over three decades from 1937.
The first title to be exhumed by Faber is May the Twelfth, an anthology of accounts of some of the people to have experienced the sights, sounds, and smells of the crowded London streets on the day of King George VI’s Coronation in 1937. This was originally the first book in the Mass Observations series, which totaled 25 titles, of which Faber will be putting 11 back on bookshop shelves. The other titles in the collection touch on everything from the annual Bolton Cow’s Head Festival and impromptu dancing of the Lambeth Walk in London parks to reports on the nation’s morale during WWII. And they look rather dashing, too, hmmm?