Now Then is an affectionate but unsparing look at a county, its inhabitants and their flinty vowels. This is a funny, wise and searching account of a place that claims to have given the world its first football club and England its last witch-burning. It does include cobbles, trumpets and stiff-necked, wilful obstinacy, but it is also about ordinary Yorkshire and its extraordinary lives.

We all know the tropes – Geoffrey Boycott incarnate, ferret-leggers and folk singers gambolling about Ilkley Moor without appropriate headgear – but why is Yorkshire God’s Own County? Exiled Yorkshireman Rick Broadbent sets out to find out whether Yorkshireness is something that can be summed up and whether it even matters in a shrinking world. Along the way he meets rock stars, ramblers and rhubarb growers as he searches for answers and a decent cup of tea. Now Then is a biographical mosaic of a place that has been victimised and stereotyped since the days of William the Conqueror. Incorporating social history, memoir and author interviews, Now Then is not a hagiography.

Broadbent visits the scenes of industrial neglect and forgotten tragedy, as well as examining the truth about well-known Yorkshire figures and institutions. Featuring Kes, the Sheffield Outrages and the most controversial poem ever written, as well as a heroic dog, a lost albatross and a stuffed crocodile,

‘Quite unputdownable. In Now Then, Rick Broadbent has encapsulated the spirit of the folk and the mood of the places so perfectly. I was hooked from page one. Prodigiously researched with wit woven into the narrative, it recreates the raw atmosphere of the place that made me. Anyone born in the county should read it. It will help them understand just what they were born into’ Alan Titchmarsh

Our opinion.

The Yorkshire Society was lucky enough to be given advanced copies of Now Then in order that we might give something of a review, and we agree with what Alan Titchmarsh has said. Suffice to say it is an excellent and entertaining read with many home truths and we are happy to recomment it. It would certainly make a great Christmas present – see below to order with a discount code.

About the author.

Rick Broadbent has written for The Times for 20 years and authored and ghost-written 12 books. He has been shortlisted for the William Hill Prize three times and has won a British Sports Book award. His books have included a biography of Emil Zatopek, a Czech Olympic hero and political activist, and That Near-Death Thing, about the most dangerous motorcycle race in the world. Rick was born in Leeds and now lives in Dorset.

Author and columnist, Rick Broadbent.

Special offer for The Yorkshire Society.

Rick and his publishers, Fox Lane Books, have been kind enough to give The Yorkshire Society a discount code so you can get your copy of Now Then at a bargain price (How Yorkshire is that!).

To get a 15% discount please use code YORKSOC15 in the promo code box on Fox Lane Books’ website HERE.

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