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Ancestor worship

Genealogy is now more popular than pornography. What does that say about us?

By Kathryn Hughes   May 2002

I had never been interested in family history. Or rather, I had always steered clear of it. In my family the stories seemed so sad. The great uncle who was dropped from the boat race at the last minute; the second cousin who was almost a bishop. There was a constant sense of just missing out on being rich, smart, important or successful. In our family you had to dance with an awful lot of people before you got to the Prince of Wales.

Later, when my life had not gone as well as it should have-when small failures had…

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