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George Garrett’s autobiographical work Ten Years On The Parish
, published here in full for the first time since it was written in the late 1930s, shines a light on the hardships and poverty endured by many in the years between the wars. Garrett was a merchant seaman, writer, playwright and radical activist, who was central to working class politics and culture in the 1920s and 30s in Liverpool and beyond. He travelled the world, wrote a series of documentary reports about poverty and struggle in the 1920s and 30s, three plays influenced by the new realism of Eugene O’Neill, and a series of short stories, which led George Orwell, who met him while researching The Road to Wigan Pier, to say he was ‘very greatly impressed by Garrett’. In the late 1930s he was a founder member of Liverpool’s Unity Theatre.