William Collins, £9.99
Book review: An English Affair, By Richard Davenport-Hines
Boyd Tonkin is Literary Editor at The Independent. An award-winning journalist, he was formerly Social Policy Editor of the New Statesman and has broadcast extensively for BBC arts and current affairs programmes. He has judged the Booker Prize, the Whitbread biography award, the Commonwealth Writers Prize and the David Cohen Prize for a lifetime's achievement in literature.
Friday 14 June 2013
This livid, lurid but enthralling history of "sex, class and power in the age of Profumo" boasts a rare passion and bravado.
With its seething cast of parvenus and throwbacks, it waits until page 245 until it retells the events of 1963 that saw war minister Profumo resign after he lied to the Commons about his fling with Christine Keeler.
Davenport-Hines writes as an elegist for a lost England, torn between nostalgia and fury at the rank bigotry and hypocrisy behind the scandal. For him, it ousted the old gang only for a nastier elite to take charge.
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