A Proper Person to be Detained review: A difficult family story
Catherine Czerkawska follows the fall-out of the murder of her great-great uncle in 1881
Catherine (right) with her father, Julian, and her mother, Kathleen, at Wallis’s holiday camp, Cayton Bay, early 1950s
Catherine Czerkawska’s new book differs considerably from her earlier writing (which includes poetry, novels, and TV, radio and stage productions), but it will not disappoint her admirers, rather attract more. A Proper Person to be Detained turns difficult family subject matter into a fascinating book, full of resonance for these islands.
The core narrative is brutally simple: Czerkawska’s great-great uncle John Manley was killed by his friend John Ross in a drunken brawl in Leeds on Christmas night, 1881.