My East End: Memories of Life in Cockney London

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Gilda was prolific.

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By then, she had moved to Limehouse in east London, which had changed markedly since her childhood and which she tried to document before the old East End way of life rolled away, as one reviewer commented, "like spilt mercury". Gilda wrote about working-class history with such feeling that even one otherwise sneering New Statesman review of The Good Old Days had to admit that "O'Neill is great company, with a fund of anecdotes and a keen eye for a killing epigram". Her populist voice was deceptive; her histories are more than romps, and display a nuanced understanding of ordinary lives.


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Underneath that cockney persona, she figured out how to use story-telling, lived experience and memory to draw political parallels. Following in the footsteps of Raphael Samuel, who started the British oral-history movement, Gilda's work looked to the past to debunk present moral panics such as, for example, the sudden concern about female binge-drinking.

Gilda O'Neill obituary

Like Studs Terkel, she used real experiences to show, as in A Night Out With the Girls , how history is made in the asides on phone-in shows, through the snatched dialogues and shared raucous laughter. She cherished the vernacular, while painstakingly checking historical fact. No wonder the women who read Gilda in big print, or listened to her on audio books and wrote five-star reviews on Amazon, or the taxi drivers who heard and loved her contributions to the Danny Baker or Robert Elms radio shows, were among her most ardent fans.

The many letters she received from East End veterans following the publication of Our Street attest that she spoke to those who felt dispossessed.

My east End memories of life in cockney London Gilda ONeill p/b | eBay

She participated regularly in workshops, and co-founded the writers' network Material Girls. Naturally effervescent, she would have a go at most things, including, in , joining the National Reading Campaign.

Title: My East End. Memories of Life in Cockney Publisher: Viking, London England.

East End Memories, Paperback by Hawthorne, Jennie, Brand New, Free P&P in the UK

Dust Jacket Condition: Near Fine. This is a story of life in the East End of London. It is both the author's own tale and the social history of a community possessing a greater heritage than the characterful criminals, cheeky barrow-boys and jellied eels so often offered up as representative of the area.

Having left school aged fifteen, she later returned to education as a mature student and went on to take three university degrees. Since she has been writing full-time and has published numerous works of both fiction and non-fiction, including two non-fiction bestsellers, My East End and Our Street. Gilda O'Neill is married with two grown-up children and lives in the East End. Visit Seller's Storefront.

Gilda O'Neill obituary

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