Edinburgh International Book Festival
August 23rd 2014
I spent an excellent hour of historical nostalgia with Mr Kynaston last Saturday, whose casts his erudite & widely spread academical net over the period October 1959 – June 1962.This follows on from 2007’s Austerity Britain, 1945–1951, (The Sunday Times’ Book of the Decade), Family Britain (2010) & Modernity Britain, covering the years 1957–59 (2013). He began his talk with a ten-part quiz for the audience, which included ‘which two towns won the Football League Championship either side of Spurs’ triumph in 1961.’ Being a Burnley fan, I knew it was Burnley (1960) & Ipswich (1962), when Burnley were runners-up – & I was the only one in the audience who knew, happy days!
Kynaston has an amazing & comprehensive ability to eke out out interesting nuggets from the past, such as the Beatles’ first southern show in December 1961 being played in his home town of Aldershot, the fantastically glamorous introduction of Philadelphia Cream Cheese into the English palate, the introduction of wrestling on TV, & the arrival of Vivienne Nicholson in London, who after her who win on the pools, declares she was ready to, ‘Spend, Spend, Spend!’ I found Kynaston to truly be a sagely seer, shining a powerful light into the murkiness of the past, whose lazar-like mind is a joy to witness