Factual Books about Brighton

Brighton is a city on the South Coast of England:

The town has an exciting heritage and for my dissertation I am looking at how history can use fiction, with Brighton as my example. I have read many novels that have featured Brighton – some good, some very bad, and I’ve read a lot of non-fiction books. Below are the ones I have read recently:

Jim Beavis: The Brighton Races

This was a useful little book that looked predominantly at the race course up at the north of Brighton. Mixed in with some interesting facts about the town, this book gave a clear and concise explanation to the history of the races in Sussex and how the interest grew at certain times in Brighton’s history, such as when royalty visited. I found this a quick and easy read, and very informative and helpful.

Iain McGowan: The Spirit of Brighton and Hove

This was a very small book – pocket-sized in fact and was full of colour photographs showing different areas of the city. There was a little bit of information, but not enough detail for my dissertation. However, if you just want to get a taste of life in Brighton, this is a great book for that. The colours and images will whet you appetite for this city. A great book for tourists.

John Huddlestone: The Brighton Story

This book is a reproduction of the cartoon strip Huddlestone had at The Brighton Herald newspaper. I actually found this quite hard to read although there is no denying Huddlestone’s talent. This cartoon strip told the history of the town in a unique and different way. I have never been a fan of those forms of entertainment but this book did give some useful information. Some pictures did have me chuckling but for the most part I found the pages too busy.

James S. Gray: Brighton Between the Wars

This is another book full of photographs but I actually found it very useful. As I live in Brighton I have a good idea of what most of the town looks like now in 2010 and to see some of the areas back in the 1930s was a bit of shock. There are many things that weren’t there back then, such as the shopping centre and the roads were so narrow. This book gives an insight into the life people lived and Brighton really was a place of two halves: the very rich and the very poor. The poverty of the town is shocking and the slums people lived in where a disgrace – thankfully they have been removed now. This book was really useful and gives a somewhat darked look at the town. I wouldn’t class this as a tourist book but if you are interested in Brighton and its history this is a good book to read.

Below is a selection of images from the city, an amazing place to live!

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