By C. J. Wrigley
A student gentleman within the old-fashioned; a northern non-conforming radical; a tutorial steeped in Oxford traditions; a late-20th century media character; essentially the most impressive historians of his age: A.J.P. Taylor was once some of these issues. He wrote approximately conventional old topics in a standard demeanour and took narrative historical past to new heights and used to be both at domestic with a severe educational, as with an unlimited well known, viewers. C.J. Wrigley's new biographical examine comprises interesting and hitherto unknown info of Taylor's privileged and cosseted youth, the impact of his shut yet combative and stimulating kinfolk, the dissenting and nonconformist culture, and his time as a instructor, broadcaster journalist and historian.
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Extra info for A. J. P. Taylor: Radical Historian of Europe
This is curious, as Bob Stewart was caretaker secretary of the party. He may even have said only ‘caretaker’ to get rid of two unwanted Oxford undergraduates. However, it is surprising that Taylor, as the young enthusiast of the Left, either did not know or claimed later not to have known that Stewart was acting secretary of the party after twelve leaders had been gaoled in December 1925. Stewart replaced Albert Inkpin, who, with Harry Pollitt (who stayed at the Taylors’ home in Preston) and three others, received twelve months in prison.
38 The corollary to this kind of immature macho posturing was an awkwardness with girls of his age. In York the boys from Bootham met the girls from the Quaker girls’ school, The Mount, on Sunday mornings at the Friends’ Meeting and on a few special occasions. 39 However, it is also possible that in later life she downplayed her pleasure in his friendship. He ﬁrst met her when they were the lead speakers in a joint debate between Bootham and The Mount on the motion ‘That the progress of civilisation has not tended to increase the happiness of mankind’, held in The Mount in March 1923.
The precociously clever but physically small and slight Alan Taylor could sparkle and attract the limelight as a rebel. At the start of 1923 he was just under ﬁve feet ﬁve inches tall and weighed nine stone (153 pounds). Moreover, being agin and being able to argue with vigour came naturally to him given his home experiences. At The Downs, according to his autobiography, he was elected to the school’s Cabinet and for a while ran it to subvert the masters’ powers of punishment. At Bootham, he ﬁtted in better; perhaps The Downs School had been a preparatory experience for Bootham.