Thursday, May 07, 2009

Ace cartography

At the TLS, Peter Hennessy reviews Brian Harrison's new history of Britain in the 1950s and 1960s. An interesting topic, and some very good snippets:
From a journal to which I was hitherto a stranger, Heating and Ventilating Engineer, [Harrison] has gleaned that in the UK, the “average living room was over 5° Fahrenheit warmer in 1970 than in 1950[.]”

A. J. P. Taylor’s celebrated English History 1914–1945 has stuck to the Velcro of my memory, for example, partly because of his use of the brilliant cameo biographical footnote of which the second one in his first chapter was particularly unforgettable: “George V (1865–1936), second son of Edward VII: married Princess Mary of Teck, 1893; King, 1910–36; changed name of royal family from Saxe-Coburg to Windsor, 1917; his trousers were creased at the sides not front and back”.

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