WINNER OF THE POLITICAL publication AWARDS POLITICAL heritage e-book OF THE yr 2014.
Published to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the Profumo scandal, An English Affair is a sharp-focused photograph of a state on the point of social revolution.
Britain in 1963 – Harold Macmillan was once the leading Minister of a Conservative executive, devoted to culture, hierarchy and, exceptionally, out of date morality. yet a breakdown of social obstacles observed nightclub hostesses blending with aristocrats, and middle-class pros dabbling in criminal activity. in the meantime, chilly conflict paranoia gripped the general public imagination.
The Profumo Affair used to be an ideal typhoon, and whilst it broke it rocked the institution. In ‘An English Affair’, the writer of the critically-acclaimed ‘Titainic Lives’ Richard Davenport-Hines brings Swinging London to existence. the forged of gamers comprises the universal – louche health professional Stephen Ward, good-time women Christine Keeler and Mandy Rice-Davies, and Secretary for battle John Profumo himself. yet we additionally come across the tabloid hacks, estate builders and hangers-on whose roles have, previously, by no means been absolutely revealed.
Sex, medicinal drugs, classification, race, chequebook journalism and the legal underworld – the Profumo Affair had all of it. this can be the tale of the way Sixties England dispose of respectability and fell in love with scandal.
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Extra resources for An English Affair: Sex, Class and Power in the Age of Profumo
22 the tale of his entrapment was once informed through Vassall as a protracted rigmarole, with an asymmetric splattering of information and vagueness. could he have misplaced his head during this means? just a vulnerable, helpless idiot could have submitted to KGB threats of publicity, and Vassall used to be hardy, shrewdpermanent and imaginitive. If he used to be so timid and submissive whilst blackmailed for sexual indiscretions, he do not have had the nerves for years of high-level espionage. not anyone who met him notion he used to be simply ruffled, or green within the world’s methods. ‘His buddies had a different legal responsibility to be blackmailed, as skiers have a different legal responsibility to wreck their legs,’ so Rebecca West saw. ‘If Vassall particularly were blackmailed … he could have long gone to definitely the right member of the Embassy to make his file, and made it in phrases more likely to bleach the embarrassment out of the blushing social gathering, he might have made the adventure domestic with simply the proper camping out humour, he could have dined out at the tale at domestic, telling the tale in other ways to delight the 2 differing types of individuals, and if he had chanced on the ambience cold in Whitehall he may have chanced on a few preserve in an paintings gallery or inside decorator’s store the place the air used to be balmier. ’23 Vassall started taking records from the naval attaché’s workplace, giving them to Soviet brokers for photographing, after which returning them. On returning to the Naval Intelligence division in London in 1956, he on a regular basis photographed mystery files.