Geoffrey Beattie | Granta

Geoffrey Beattie

Geoffrey Beattie is Professor of Psychology at Manchester University and regularly appears on television as a psychologist on Channel 4’s Big Brother. His previous books include We Are the People: Journeys Through the Heart of Protestant Ulster and On the Ropes: Boxing As a Way of Life, which was runner-up for the William Hill Sports Book of the Year award.


Protestant Boy

Geoffrey Beattie

Geoffrey Beattie grew up in the notorious ‘murder triangle’ in North Belfast, where during thirty years of the Troubles more than six hundred people were killed. Many of his childhood friends ended up dead or in prison, while Beattie himself moved to England, at first to study and eventually to build a highly successful career as a psychologist. On a visit home to see his ailing mother, Beattie begins to explore his Ulster Protestant ancestry and to reflect on the unfashionable and little understood Protestant community. His search takes him to the trenches of the Somme, to the Plantation villages of Ulster, and to Drumcree for the Orange march. And it also takes him deeper into his mother’s character: at the heart of the book is an extraordinarily vivid portrait of this opinonated, witty, exasperating Ulsterwoman. Protestant Boy is an honest, beautifully written book about the stories that families and cultures tell themselves, and about the silences that they leave behind.