Pages and Leaflets of North Oxfordshire: My Lineage Pre-1700–1959

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AUTHOR: Angela Fortnum

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PUBLISHER: AuthorHouse UK

ISBN-10: 1546297952 

ISBN-13: 978-1546297956

PAGES: 72

GENRE: Non-Fiction

It is a beautiful thing when an author lets you take a peek at their life. It is even more amazing when they take you down to not just one or two, but eight generations of their family. Angela Fortnum in her book, writes about her family’s background and her history in a profound way. Learning about Angela Fortnum’s maternal side was a delight. I did not know that I could immensely enjoy reading about someone’s roots until I got hold of this book.

The author starts by talking about her mother. Born in South Newington Mill in 1916, Muriel Page, Angela’s mother, was her pillar throughout her life. Angela tressured her mother and valued having her around. It is out of curiosity that the two close women began to learn and research about Angela’s maternal grandparents. The author writes about the origin of names, and mentions where her surname, Page, was derived from. The author’s surname came from the Middle English and Old French page. She also discussed the variations of the name. her discussions presented an opportunity for me to learn why names had different spellings.

Reading Angela’s story was great. She listed all her great-grandfathers, beginning from Seven-Times-Great Grandfather James Page to her grandfather Harry James Page. Each of the nine men had interesting lives. A few things differed from one generation to the next, but one thing that was clear was that Angela wrote about her paternal grandparents with all the love in the world and much pleasure.

“Pages and Leaflets of North Oxfordshire: My Lineage Pre-1700–1959” is fun and easy read. Each of Angela’s grandfather was given their own chapter and the reader read and understood their lives with ease.  Religion and marriage life was one of the common factors among the grandfathers. There are lessons one could take from their lives, including love for one’s family and understanding each other’s differences. I love that Angela added images of things like homes, churches, family documents and pictures of members of the family when narrating their stories. The pictorial documentation was a good thing as it helped the reader form a mental image of how things were back in the day.

Reading this book made me curious and interested in older generations of my family. Angela Fortum has inspired me to want to know more about both my maternal and paternal sides of the family, even though she only wrote about the former. Angela’s ancestors gradually changed from farm life over the years to self-employment.  I loved the end of the book where Angela tells the story of her nuclear family. There is a lot to be cherished in Angela’s family. The author’s writing style was noteworthy and exceptional. Her flow of the story was clear-cut and her narration skills established. One could feel the passion in her as she wrote the book. This book is a good guide to anyone who would wish to learn about writing in this genre. The writer was natural throughout and that made the reading experience remarkable.

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