Concept

Walter Greenwood

Résumé
Walter Greenwood (17 December 1903 – 13 September 1974) was an English novelist, best known for the socially influential novel Love on the Dole (1933). Greenwood was born at 56 Ellor Street, his father's house and hairdresser's shop in "Hanky Park", Pendleton, Salford, Lancashire. His father, Tom, died when he was nine years old, and his mother, Elizabeth Matilda, provided for him by working as a waitress. Greenwood's parents belonged to the radical working classes; his mother came from a family with a strong tradition of socialism and union membership, and she inherited her father’s book-case complete with its socialist book collection. Greenwood was educated at the local council school and left at the age of 13. While the normal school leaving age at the time was 14, he was able to leave a year early after taking the Board of Education Labour Exam, which was only 'open to fatherless boys' so that they could go to work to help support their family. His first job was as a pawnbroker's clerk. A succession of low paid jobs followed, while he continued to educate himself at the Salford Public Library. During periods of unemployment Greenwood worked for the local Labour Party, briefly becoming a councillor, and began to write short stories, after no longer qualifying for the dole, exhausting his entitlement under the rules of the time. In October 1929, after being owed three months wages from his last job as a typist, he took home the office typewriter in lieu of his wages, and began to write the stories of the people of Hanky Park, to earn a living. While unemployed, during 1932, Greenwood wrote his first novel, Love on the Dole, about the destructive social effects of poverty in his home town. After several rejections, it was published during 1933. It was a critical and commercial success, and a great influence on the British public's opinion of unemployment. The novel even prompted parliament to investigate, resulting in reforms. In 1935, Greenwood collaborated with Ronald Gow on a stage adaptation of the novel.
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