An English Affair: Sex, Class and Power in the Age of Profumo Richard Davenport-Hines

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An English Affair: Sex, Class and Power in the Age of Profumo

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400
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9780007435852
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HarperCollins Publishers
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September 10, 2013
 
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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.

Contributors

Richard Davenport-Hines is a historian and biographer. Among his many books are biographies of W. H. Auden and Marcel Proust, and the recent, highly acclaimed, Titanic Lives. A fellow of the Royal Historical Society and the Royal Society of Literature, he reviews regularly for the Sunday Telegraph, the Sunday Times and the Times Literary Supplement.

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