Lincoln Drill Hall

Lincoln Drill Hall
Lincoln Drill Hall

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

On Green Dolphin Street - Sebastian Faulks

I had avoided this book, having loved both Birdsong and Charlotte Gray, but then Engleby won my wholehearted respect. I took both On Green Dolphin Street and Ian McEwan's Enduring Love on holiday and started both. I am going to commit heresy. I found McEwan so well researched it was contrived, but Faulks, surely equally well researched, came to me natural from the page. It had more flavour, smell and touch.

Monday, 4 October 2010

Children of the sun

Simon Head offers an illuminating critique of the evolution of English elite to take full advantage of the extraordinary phenomenon of London as the global financial powerhouse.
Societies will always have their elites, but in England in the final third of the twentieth century, it looked as if the elite was broadening and becoming more porous. Head shows how the elite evolved from being simply the aristocracy to include leaders of the professions and financiers. Many of the elite families survived the transition and reinvented themselves. The public schools and Oxbridge  all serve to perpetuate this evolving elite.
What emerges is a society much closer in division to eighteenth century England, with an elite holding the majority of the wealth served by the remainder.
The banking collapse might have been seen as an end to this; in the event the elite not only survived but gained yet more strength.