A Shocking History of Bristol

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1973 was a big year for Bristol. It marked 600 years as a city and county. The thunder of civic self-congratulation was deafening.

But Derek Robinson didn’t buy it. Not all of it, anyway. The born-and-bred Bristolian knew that during the past 600 years, the city and county had generated its fair share of blood and thunder.

So he wrote this book, first published in 1973, to help balance the story.

The result was a book that inspired a generation of young Bristolians. Robinson challenged the establishment narrative taught in the city’s schools that Edward Colston was a benefactor, that the slave trade wasn’t really that bad and that over the centuries the city had been run for the benefit of its people under the benign patronage of the Corporation and the Society Of Merchant Venturers.

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