Newspaper and magazine reviews

He sets scenes with the relish and skill of a novelist… That kind of detail makes this book so irresistibly real… It’s a testament to the cumulative power of Miller’s prose that the final photograph moved me to surprised tears.

The Daily Mail, Julie Myerson

There are three good reasons to buy and read this book: first, it must be the best-documented account of the class trajectory of British Jewry in the 20th century; second, it throws valuable light on contemporary debates about immigration and asylum… and third, it is a fantastically interesting and well-written story.

The New Statesman, Linda Grant

Family history of the best sort, the subject matter vastly appealing, the writing intelligent and clear… he takes us, with confidence and humour, through the various worlds of early 20th century London… one feels like a privileged observer in a distant land…At the heart of this memoir looms the extraordinary figure of Miller’s grandfather, whom the author presents with a novelist’s sensitivity and power.

The Sunday TimesSusie Boyt

A wry, poignant history of what it was like to be a Jewish immigrant to Britain in the 20th century… The book is full of hilarious insights into East End dodging and diving, doubtless familiar to the millions of new arrivals from Asia, Africa and the Caribbean who have replaced the Jews, or indeed to the “silk-weaving Huguenots and the starving Irish” who came before… Miller has done us an immense service in opening up the world of the successful immigrant, with its aspirations and adaptations, its compromises over religion, its determination to succeed despite often furious prejudice, its delight in achievement… This is the story of our complicated island nation, and it is one of which Britain can be proud.

The Times, Edwina Currie

This is less a biography of a brilliant, impoverished Jewish immigrant and his quest to take London by storm, than a beautifully crafted and impeccably researched piece of social history…Superb…A magnetic read.

Time Out, Lucy Powell

Exquisite… Andrew Miller’s book is mainly a lovingly detailed, rich description of a remarkable man-but it is also a reflection on Englishness, class and the surprising fluidity of British life, accepting newcomers more readily than we might suppose.

The Jewish Chronicle, Jonathan Freedland

Miller has achieved a delicate balance between the personal and the universal in telling his family’s story and in doing so has recreated an era that is scarcely imaginable these days…Miller possesses a rare constellation of talents, combining the historian’s mastery of source material with the novelist’s descriptive dexterity. His prose is lyrical as he brings Blitz Britain to his readers in Technicolour, with all its terrors.

The Jewish Quarterly, Francesca Segal

Rich and absorbing… Miller has a sharp eye for revealing detail and writes with just the right note of amused sympathy to make his grandparents’ journey ‘from ghetto to gentility’ seem touching and even quietly heroic.

The IndependentMatthew Reisz

Miller somehow manages to work the charm: the protagonists are given names and faces, plumped up and clothed, and suddenly the old story once again comes alive, a reminder and retelling of human dreams and disappointments.

The GuardianIan Sansom

An absorbing narrative…a vivid but unsentimental portrait of the now vanished world of the Jewish East End, a fascinating glimpse into the manufacture of women’s underwear (Henry’s particular line), and a slyly amused account of a society in flux.

The Daily TelegraphPeter Parker

Advance praise

A poignant story of dreams and sacrifice, of identities lost and new ones made.

Amanda Foreman

With meticulous research and beautiful prose, The Earl of Petticoat Lane recreates the lost world of London’s East End Jews – and the forgotten story of how, slowly, they made themselves British.

Anne Applebaum

Please, please read this delight-filled book. It grabbed me by the throat and wouldn’t let go until I had finished it. It offers more than pleasure; it should open the eyes of those who don’t understand the colossal value that immigrants bring to this country.

Claire Rayner

Meticulously researched and beautifully written, an inspiring true-life rags to riches story. I hope it does very well. I’m sure it will. Miller has done a terrific job.

Melanie McGrath, author of Silvertown

Miller, in recreating the story of his grandparents’ early lives, has vividly drawn a picture of a vanished world, a world of desperate poverty but equally a world of hope. The Earl of Petticoat Lane is a magnificent achievement.

Judith Flanders, author of The Making of Home and The Victorian City

This is a treasure of a book. Miller’s true story of love, fear, lingerie and social climbing is an unforgettably vivid picture of the old East End both at peace and war. Between the rollicking fun and the nostalgia it can also – like the best Yiddish songs – move you to tears.

Ann Wroe, author of Orpheus: The Song of Life and Being Shelley