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