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A Very English Scandal: Sex, Lies and a Murder Plot at the Heart of the Establishment (Paperback)
  • A Very English Scandal: Sex, Lies and a Murder Plot at the Heart of the Establishment (Paperback)

A Very English Scandal: Sex, Lies and a Murder Plot at the Heart of the Establishment (Paperback)

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Paperback 352 Pages / Published: 06/04/2017
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The shocking true story of the first British politician to stand trial for murder.

Thorpe was charismatic and sympathetic. He also had an extraordinary knack for remembering people’s names and for making them feel their problems were especially close to his heart. With his arms thrown wide and an enormous grin on his face, he would bear down on his would-be constituents as though seeing them had just fulfilled his wildest dreams. Few were able to resist.

Behind oak-panelled doors in the House of Commons, men with cut-glass accents and gold signet rings are conspiring to murder.

It's the late 1960s and homosexuality has only just been legalised, and Jeremy Thorpe, the leader of the Liberal party, has a secret he's desperate to hide. As long as Norman Scott, his beautiful, unstable lover is around, Thorpe's brilliant career is at risk.

With the help of his fellow politicians, Thorpe schemes, deceives, embezzles - until he can see only one way to silence Scott for good. The trial of Jeremy Thorpe changed our society forever: it was the moment the British public discovered the truth about its political class.

Illuminating the darkest secrets of the Establishment, the Thorpe affair revealed such breath-taking deceit and corruption in an entire section of British society that, at the time, hardly anyone dared believe it could be true.

A Very English Scandal is an eye-opening tale of how the powerful protect their own, and an extraordinary insight into the forces that shaped modern Britain.

‘A gripping account of 'the only murder plot ever - allegedly - hatched in the House of Commons’ - The Sunday Telegraph

Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
ISBN: 9780241973745
Number of pages: 352
Weight: 256 g
Dimensions: 198 x 129 x 22 mm

The shocking true story of the first British politician to stand trial for murder * Publisher's description *
This is a brilliant, sad, startling nonfiction novel about the Jeremy Thorpe murder-plot scandal. It is as funny and dark as anything by Evelyn Waugh or Jonathan Coe. And in these post Cyril Smith/Jimmy Saville days, it's so timely and relevant * Jon Ronson *
A terrific book and brilliantly researched. John Preston writes wonderful dead-pan prose and reveals the depths of depravity, the absurd power of snobbery and the old boy networks of the time -- Claire Tomalin
A brilliant exploration of an extraordinary political scandal... deeply researched, fluently written, and darkly comic, it reads like a thriller -- Ben Macintyre
I loved it; eccentric, dark, humane and English in the very best sense. It's going to be a sure fire-hit -- Alain de Botton
The most forensic, elegantly written, compelling account of one of the 20th century's great political scandals... a real page-turner' * Observer *
Very funny and endlessly extraordinary... makes for amazing reading -- Catherine Shoard * Guardian *
Impeccably researched... full of shocks, surprises and laugh-out-loud moments. Preston revives a forgotten era and delves into the personalities behind the headlines. * Times Crime Club *
Retold with masterful skill... It grips like a detective story, as compelling as BBC2's Life of Duty and every bit as dirty in what it exposes about the upper echelons of society in the Sixties and Seventies * Daily Mail Book of the Week *
This brilliant account made me feel I was hearing the tale for the first time ... Preston is an enthralling narrator * Mail on Sunday *
Gripping ... cack-handed assassins, buffoonish policemen, dodgy Home secretaries and sozzled judges. The conclusion of an Establishment cover-up is hard to avoid * Daily Telegraph *
The unbelievable truth... Preston is a natural storyteller ... he provides the context for actions that seem unbelievable today * The Times *
Wonderfully readable ... John Preston is the ideal author, having researched for years many minor characters and talked to dozens of well-known political and literary friends and enemies of Thorpe * Standpoint *
Fluent, readable ... a vivid tableau of the players in Thorpe's long, tragic downfall * Evening Standard *
I spent a thrilling 48 hours reading it. The narrative is so vivid, the characterisation so brilliant... I thought I knew all about these events, but the full horror of them has only now become apparent -- Antonia Fraser
A gripping account of the Jeremy Thorpe case. The details make one laugh out loud or gasp with amazement -- Charles Moore * Spectator *
The whole affair is retold here compellingly and fluently, bringing to life the cast of characters with some verve * The i *
Nothing comes close to the eyepopping outrageousness of the gay murder shenanigans that engulfed and almost destroyed a Liberal leader. Reads like a comic thriller -- Rachel Johnson

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Emily at Lancaster King Street

“A Very Remarkable Read”

An almost unbelievable true story brought to life in vivid detail by the author, A Very English Scandal is a non-fiction book that reads like a crime thriller. Incredibly detailed and entertaining with larger than... More

“The Hounds of Jeremy Thorpe”

...is what it should have been called, because I'm not overly keen on the chosen title. But that is near enough the ONLY criticism I have of this gripping, balanced, well-researched and fascinating read. "A... More

Paperback edition
3 similar books recommended
30th April 2017
Helpful? Upvote 23

“A marvellous read.”

Corruption, fraud, cruelty, exploitation of the poor by the rich and powerful, incompetent Walter Mitty plots, rape, betrayal, evil in many forms. Thank goodness nothing similar could happen in the Mother of... More

Paperback edition
17th August 2017
Helpful? Upvote 9

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