Francis Wheen

Off With Their Heads

The Enchanted Glass: Britain and Its Monarchy

By Tom Nairn

Radius 402pp £25 order from our bookshop

During the abdication crisis of 1936, Edward VIII decided to retaliate against the Baldwin government by ‘planting’ his point of view – including his opinion of certain ministers – in a newspaper. The politician he chose as a go-between in this operation was John Strachey, a left-wing socialist. And the publication he selected was The Week, a radical scandal-sheet edited by the Communist Claud Cockburn.

The surprising thing about this little story is that it isn’t in the least surprising.

Sara Stewart


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