An English Affair: Sex, Class and Power in the Age of Profumo (Paperback)Richard Davenport-Hines (author)
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WINNER OF THE POLITICAL BOOK AWARDS POLITICAL HISTORY BOOK OF THE YEAR 2014.
Published to coincide with the fiftieth anniversary of the Profumo scandal, An English Affair is a sharp-focused snapshot of a nation on the brink of social revolution.
Britain in 1963 - Harold Macmillan was the Prime Minister of a Conservative government, dedicated to tradition, hierarchy and, above all, old-fashioned morality. But a breakdown of social boundaries saw nightclub hostesses mixing with aristocrats, and middle-class professionals dabbling in criminality. Meanwhile, Cold War paranoia gripped the public imagination.
The Profumo Affair was a perfect storm, and when it broke it rocked the Establishment. In `An English Affair', the author of the critically-acclaimed `Titainic Lives' Richard Davenport-Hines brings Swinging London to life. The cast of players includes the familiar - louche doctor Stephen Ward, good-time girls Christine Keeler and Mandy Rice-Davies, and Secretary for War John Profumo himself. But we also encounter the tabloid hacks, property developers and hangers-on whose roles have, until now, never been fully revealed.
Sex, drugs, class, race, chequebook journalism and the criminal underworld - the Profumo Affair had it all. This is the story of how Sixties England cast off respectability and fell in love with scandal.
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Number of pages: 352
Weight: 320 g
Dimensions: 198 x 129 x 27 mm
Independent on Sunday Books of the Year `Wonderful and exacting'
Mail on Sunday Books of the Year `A breakneck thriller and a brilliant dissection of the times'
Independent on Sunday Books of the Year `This is more than simply an overview of the affair...Davenport-Hines skewers an entire society'
`A wonderful evocation of the period; a Rolls-Royce ride, with that hugely enjoyable sense of a writer being op top of his material and perfectly attuned to his subject' David Kynaston, author of `Austerity Britain'
`An outstandingly evocative portrait of a hinge moment in our recent history, as well as a treasure trove of anecdotes' Dominic Sandbrook, Sunday Times
`Fascinating ... a meticulous and witty portrait of a society built on the shaky foundations of snobbery, suspicion, hypocrisy and sexual anxiety' Mail on Sunday
`Mesmerising. Brilliantly researched, irresistibly readable, fiercely polemical, `An English Affair' ought to sit on the desk of everyone who voices a view on the entanglement of politics, media and celebrity ... No book about the British past this year will cast a fiercer light on the British present' Independent
`His research is impeccable and the story told with lip-smacking relish' Daily Express
`A superb book' Evening Standard
`[The Profumo Affair] has found a marvellous chronicler in Davenport-Hines, an incisive writer with a terrific eye for detail' Sunday Telegraph
`[A] superb account of the scandal' Mail on Sunday,
`[This] livid, lurid but enthralling history of "sex, class and power in the age of Profumo" boasts a rare passion and bravado' Independent
`Davenport-Hines is superb on the English ... His eye is as shrewd and telling as Anthony Powell's' Times
`It is written in a wonderfully sharp and witty style, and packed with illuminating details' Craig Brown, Books of the year, Daily Mail