A. J. P. Taylor: Radical Historian of Europe by C. J. Wrigley

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By C. J. Wrigley

A pupil gentleman within the old school; a northern non-conforming radical; an educational steeped in Oxford traditions; a late-20th century media character; some of the most striking historians of his age: A.J.P. Taylor used to be a lot of these issues. He wrote approximately conventional historic topics in a conventional demeanour and took narrative heritage to new heights and used to be both at domestic with a serious educational, as with an enormous well known, viewers. C.J. Wrigley's new biographical research comprises interesting and hitherto unknown information of Taylor's privileged and cosseted early life, the influence of his shut yet combative and stimulating family members, 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

Sample text

Alan Taylor joined the ILP in 1921, when he was fifteen. ’ 29 17 Rose Terrace, Preston, as it is now (with blue plaque to the right of the door). GROWING 29 Thus there was little difference initially between the arguments he could put within a left-wing ILP branch and his intellectual support for the CPGB. His parents’ involvement in politics led to various national politicians of the Left staying at their house. These included such leading Labour figures as Arthur Henderson and George Lansbury, and also Harry Pollitt of the CPGB.

I had lost my own father when I was seven. ’ She also delivered the judgement: ‘He was worth two of Alan. ’ In contrast, she observed of Connie Taylor, ‘She was something of a dragon. She had been a teacher – but got married to get out of teaching. 36 As well as enjoying the company of Doris Sharples, Percy continued to enjoy treating other children, notably his nephews and nieces. They later remembered him as their favourite uncle – ‘a delightful person’, ‘a nice bloke’. He had a strong sense of fun, so much so that they warmly recalled that ‘he wasn’t like a grown-up at all’.

Harry Thompson was one of an advisory committee, chaired by Walter Ayles and including Henry Sara, which organised the absolutists in Wakefield gaol and rejected the Home Office’s proposals for them. 10 For the rest of the war and 1919 Connie devoted herself to her brother and to the cause of the conscientious objectors. Harry spent lengthy terms in gaol, and his sister took great pains to support him in any way she could. In the summer of 1919 the Taylors gave holidays at their rented holiday house in Hawkshead to a stream of conscientious objectors newly released from prison and selected by Harry Thompson.

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