When Jeremy Hardy decided to explore his ancestry it was, in part, to get to the bottom of his grandmother Becky’s dubious claims that the family descended from a certain 17th-century architect and that, more recently, Jeremy’s great grandfather was personal bodyguard and confidant to the King. Other legends range from the uncle who died in police custody to the wronged Victorian aunt who bore an illegitimate son.
Wild stories aside, Jeremy sets out to investogate in such diverse locations as the public library and the hostile waters around Malta in order to find traces of recognisable family traits and a sense of how he came to be. With wry humour and a keen eye for the absurd and the frustrating, Jeremy takes us on a by turns funny and moving journey into the world of family ancestry.
My Family and Other Strangers will be enjoyed by anyone who has tried to decipher the 1901 census records, or simply wishes they too had asked their grandparents more about their lives.