Vintage £8.99 (502pp) from the Independent Bookshop: 08430 600 030
The World That Never Was, By Alex Butterworth
Friday 18 March 2011
Famously exemplified by Martial Bourdin, whose fatally botched attempt to blow up Greenwich Observatory in 1894 inspired Conrad's The Secret Agent, the final years of the 19th century gave birth to the cartoon anarchist carrying a fizzing bomb.
In fact, anarchist ideals of the era were closer to Paul Signac's 1895 painting In Time of Harmony, an Elysian scene featuring nothing more explosive than a game of boules.
Butterworth explores this dichotomy in his rich and enthralling work. His account of international terrorism has superficial parallels with Al-Queda, but Butterworth maintains the main similarity between then and now is "the obscene discrepancies between rich and poor".
Arts & Ents blogs
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- 2 Andreas Lubitz: Who is Germanwings co-pilot who 'locked out captain and crashed flight 9525'?
- 3 JK Rowling responds to fan tweeting she 'can't see' Dumbledore being gay
- 4 Germanwings crash: Descent may have been 'deliberate, suicidal choice' by pilot, claims experts
- 5 Woman held in psychiatric ward after (correctly) saying Obama follows her on Twitter
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Nigel Farage brands LGBT activists 'filth' and 'scum' and accuses them of scaring away his children after they invade his local pub
Ukip supporters are 55 or older, white and socially conservative, finds British Social Attitudes Report
JK Rowling responds to fan tweeting she 'can't see' Dumbledore being gay
Russia threatens Denmark with nuclear weapons if it tries to join Nato defence shield
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