By Richard Davenport-Hines

Released to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the Profumo scandal, An English Affair is a sharp-focused picture of a country close to social revolution. Britain in 1963 – Harold Macmillan used to be the best Minister of a Conservative govt, devoted to culture, hierarchy and, in particular, outdated morality. yet a breakdown of social barriers observed nightclub hostesses blending with aristocrats, and middle-class pros dabbling in criminal activity. in the meantime, chilly warfare paranoia gripped the general public mind's eye. The Profumo Affair used to be an ideal typhoon, and whilst it broke it rocked the institution. In 'An English Affair', the writer of the critically-acclaimed 'Titainic Lives' Richard Davenport-Hines brings Swinging London to existence. the solid of gamers contains the popular – louche general practitioner Stephen Ward, good-time women Christine Keeler and Mandy Rice-Davies, and Secretary for conflict John Profumo himself. yet we additionally come across the tabloid hacks, estate builders and hangers-on whose roles have, previously, by no means been absolutely published. intercourse, medicines, type, race, chequebook journalism and the felony underworld – the Profumo Affair had all of it. this is often the tale of ways Sixties England eliminate respectability and fell in love with scandal.

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

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I worked in the kitchen and Peter helped in the grounds as an odd-job man. After a couple of months we heard from Sheena that she could not cope with Christopher any more and she wanted us to have him back. We had to tell the headmistress of the school that we had a six-month old baby and fortunately she agreed to let us have him with us. How I managed I shall never know. But I got myself organised to cope with the baby and the job. On fine days I put Christopher in his pram, where he sat cheerfully watching the children while I worked in the kitchen.

It seemed to me that we were all living at Sheena’s whim. 44 Flight into Freedom and Beyond Nobody seemed to mind in the least, though – except me. Peter did what Sheena said, no matter how I felt, and abandoned me once more to her crazy ways. I tried again to see Sheena to get Christopher back, but she wouldn’t open the door to me and whenever I telephoned, she just put the phone down. I couldn’t stand it any more. I decided to put an end to it all. I got hold of a bottle of sleeping pills and, when I was alone in the flat, I drew the curtains and put some cushions by the door to prevent the gas from the oven escaping.

Don’t be ridiculous. You’ll do no such thing. Now go and get your things. ” We went back to the farm where he was working. Paddy and his wife were looking after my five children, because Andrew was away so much, so he found me somewhere to stay nearby. I longed to see my children again, but Paddy would not allow it until Andrew had given his permission. Andrew also had a cottage on the farm where he stayed when he was on leave and he happened to be home when I arrived. After a few days he relented.

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