Gentry, By Adam Nicolson
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.
Saturday 01 September 2012
It would be a huge shame if the topic and title of this book – the history of a dozen landed English families from the Wars of Roses to the hunting ban – deterred a single reader.
Adam Nicolson is a social historian of soaring intelligence and enviable eloquence.
Far from being a snobbish recital of vanished privileges (the custodian of Sissinghurst is way beyond all that), his account of the clans builds into the story of their nation through the prism of its fractious local elites: the hinge on which epochal shifts in class and culture swung.
And why are 'southern' ways of speaking spreading north?
Arts & Ents blogs
The 50 Best Christmas songs: Bells continue to ring for the Pogues' 'Fairytale of New York'
Stall talk: The arcane rules of chit-chat that take place in the gents'
Paul Walker: Fast and Furious cast release video tribute to late star
Nymphomaniac trailer shown to children at screening of Disney film Frozen
The top gay icons (straight up!)
- 1 Cameron's freebie to apartheid South Africa
- 2 Is this the scariest advert ever? Japanese tyre commercial comes with its own disclaimer and health warning
- 3 A forgotten episode in Russian history leaves links with the Philippines
- 4 Australian ultra-nationalist politician Stephanie Banister in car crash immigration TV interview
- 5 Nelson Mandela: From 'terrorist' to tea with the Queen
- < Previous
- Next >