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Ice in our drinks – whatever next!

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ethel_and_ernest_book_coverEthel and Ernest is a graphic novel by the celebrated author and illustrator Raymond Briggs of The Snowman and Fungus the Bogeyman fame and was first published in 1998. The book is a tribute to his working-class parents and tells the story of their lives from the first meeting in 1928 through to their deaths in the early seventies. This is an immensely warm, nostalgic and sometimes poignant journey through the decades and provides a fascinating part social history of Britain as Ethel and Ernest meet, marry, and raise their son Raymond as the world gradually changes ever more around them. Through the often mundane but sometimes extraordinary lives of Ethel and Ernest we experience the first stirrings and eventual turmoil of war, the creation of the welfare state, the advent of television, doodlebugs, the bomb, indoor bathrooms, fridges, telephones, the blitz, rationing, Conservative and Labour governments, men on the moon, VE Day, and much more besides. As the blurb on the inside cover goes, ‘this is the reality of two decent, ordinary lives, of two people who, as Briggs tells their story, become representative of us all’.

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