DH: This is about the early years of my childhood, and I am not the agent or actor here; I am merely an observer, so that it's about the ambience of my life; the world that surrounded me, and it's called 'Figures in a Bygone Landscape'.
It's about the other figures, about the people of my family and my immediate environment; so the real problem of autobiography, writing about oneself, doesn't really occur. I'm writing about other characters; I'm almost writing about fictional characters, with some regard for the truth. Not terribly high regard, but some regard.
In what sort of spirit have you written this?
Sometimes it's rancour, isn't it....?
DH: Yes... I feel no rancour. I feel I've been greatly blessed. I feel this about my early days particularly; they were very happy times, and I wish that time was as happy for all children.
Would you like to tell us, briefly, the nature of this childhood? Where it was, who they were?
DH: Seen now at this distance it would seem nearer to the seventeenth century than to the present time. The fact of not having possessions - when my grandmother died she left three and fourpence, which is about 17p.
This was working class Lancashire? What did your parents do?
DH: My father was a shoe repairer; my mother like most women was a housewife, though there were many women in Lancashire that did go out to work in the mills. Ours was not a particularly big family, but families lived together; what we now call the extended family; people spent time with each other.As a child, one was aware of being present in other people's consciousness.
People now watch telly for 25 to 30 hours a week; this is the time they used to give to each other.
I think people are desperate to simply have some attention; their admiration is reserved for people who succeed in capturing public attention.
Hence the extraordinary phenomenon of the "chat show".