The mass evacuation of children from major British cities to safer parts of the country was one of the most imaginative plans conceived by the government in the Second World War. In the last few years, the evacuation scheme has been heavily criticised for the traumatic effect it may have had on some young children who were torn from their homes and families to live with strangers, but these criticisms appear, very curiously, to ignore the possible alternative. The trauma of being killed by a German bomb would have been rather more final than life with even the most unsympathetic of foster parents.
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'Thirkell was a product of her time and her class. For her there are no sacred cows, barring those that win ribbons at the Barchester Agricultural.'
The novelist Angela Thirkell is due a revival, says Patricia T O'Conner (£).
'Only in Britain, perhaps, could spy chiefs – conventionally viewed as masters of subterfuge – be so highly regarded as ethical guides.'
In this month's Bookends, @AdamCSDouglas looks at the curious life of Henry Labouchere: a friend of Bram Stoker, 'loose cannon', and architect of the law that outlawed homosexual activity in Britain.