State of Emergency by Dominic Sandbrook

‘For God’s sake, bring me a large Scotch. What a bloody awful country!’ Home secretary Reginald Maudling (who admittedly did not need much of an excuse) spluttered this after a 1970 visit to Northern Ireland. Such gossipy titbits are a major reason why Dominic Sandbrook’s books on Britain since the 1950s are so entertaining –…

Amazing Grace: The Man Who Was W.G. by Richard Tomlinson

It’s definitely autumn. The cricket season is over. But don’t be downcast, people of England: the Ashes are looming! W.G. Grace loved Australia: he enjoyed insulting Australians. In his biography Amazing Grace, Richard Tomlinson describes the ‘final, hellish’ two weeks of his tour there in 1873-74 as being ‘like an extended Victorian episode of Men Behaving Badly‘.…