Jersey: The Hidden Histories

Written by Paul Darroch
Review by Douglas Kemp

The author has assembled a fictional historical overview of the island of Jersey, from Stone Age times up until the present day. He takes episodes and events and elaborates from a first-person perspective on the issues, together with a linking authorial commentary, which provides the historical context.

The book is well written, expertly researched and interesting to read.  Reading the thoughts and emotions of someone from thousands of years ago always seems rather artificial and, clearly, it is utterly impossible to gauge with any sense of authenticity or accuracy if the author has captured the alien voice well. But we also hear from more contemporary personalities such as Sir Walter Raleigh, Queen Victoria, Lillie Langtry and Charlie Chaplin, all of whom had a connection to Jersey and they reveal their thoughts and experiences of the island.