Robert Colls

Crying Shame

Weeping Britannia: Portrait of a Nation in Tears

By Thomas Dixon

Oxford University Press 456pp £25 order from our bookshop

The last time I cried was when my mother died earlier this year. It was short and hard and for both of us. The last time I cried before that was when my father died in 2003. I remember the letting go, but never managed to find the words.

I say ‘last time I cried’, but this is not quite true. There were times in between. I broke on the word ‘love’ when speaking at my university tutor’s retirement party, but didn’t cry. Taken by surprise, it took me a full minute to get a hold. I also welled up slowly at Knee High’s Warwick production of Brief Encounter

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