The Press Gallery

By Paul Fairie£24.00 + Shipping
Status: being written
Publication Date: TBCAvailable
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About The Book

Nobody wants to work anymore. Modern music is destroying society. We’ll all be living on Easy Street a hundred years from now. With a few basic tips, even you can eat a pear! Welcome to The Press Gallery, the museum of newspaper clippings, a beautifully designed coffee table book that offers reassurance that the past made as little sense as the present.

Last July, I read a tweet complaining that nobody wanted to work anymore. I had a hunch that this wasn’t the first time someone had expressed this opinion, so I dived into some old newspaper archives and quickly found examples from every single decade back to the 1890s. I shared what I collected in a thread on Twitter, and, if the two weeks of continual notifications on my phone were to be believed, it appeared to resonate.

After that, I began to curate collections of other classic complaints – people complaining that kids today were too soft, or that men today were too feminine, or that people today had lost their sense of humour. You can find people complaining about exactly the same things again and again. Dame Shirley Bassey had it right: it is all just a little bit of history repeating.

There’s more than just complaints in the book – old newspapers are full of interesting and surprising things. I will share the first British experiences with pizza in 1860 ('The pizza cake is your only social leveller for in the pizza shops rich and poor harmoniously congregate'), the time the Pope endorsed iron tablets, how poor George Millet was kissed to death, alongside my favourite newspaper titles (a close race between the Volcano Lubricator and Big Hole Breezes).

... from The Eagle’s 1895 warning of “The Bicycle Face: Its Several Horrible Details Carefully Analyzed and Explained”, to the Southwest Washington Labor Press’s 1923 prediction that the “Four-Hour Day Will Come Within The Next Hundred Years”
Paul Fairie

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    An online Zoom talk/presentation from Paul where he will show some of his favourite cuttings followed by a Q&A.

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    Pick any day of the year and Paul will put together some specially chosen cuttings from that day.

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