An absorbing account of a turning-point in British history
'The year has, indeed, begun in gloom. The King ill, and Kipling dead . . .' so wrote the diarist Chips Channon in 1936 as George V lay on his deathbed at Buckingham Palace. The passing of two such pillars of the establishment sent tremors through the nation and heralded the ending of the old order.
1936 was to be an extraordinary year: at home social and constitutional crisis threatened, while in Europe, the dictators were on the march. It was the year of the abdication and civil war in Spain. The tectonic plates of history were shifting - Britain would never be the same again.
The Last Dance is told using the accounts of those who lived through this turbulent period. Through extracts from diaries of shopkeepers, socialites, bishops, and volunteers in Spain, and the memoirs of the unemployed, housewives and hostesses, as well as the contemporary accounts of politicians, journalists and poets, Blakeway offers a compelling and vivid account of a turning point in our nation's story.
'An absorbing presentation...colourful and cinematic' - Piers Brendon, Sunday Times
'Vivid... illuminating... four stars' - Mail on Sunday
'Stimulating and highly readable... absorbing' - Geoffrey Wheatcroft, New Statesman
'Witty... there are many good stories... a keen eye for telling detail... a lively book' - Michael Burleigh, Spectator
"Absorbing... the divided society of time is lucidly portrayed... colourful and cinematic. It vividly recapulates key themes played out during the 1930s" - Sunday Times
'Denys Blakeway has triumphed with this book, writing with humour and sophistication about all forms of British life' - Lady
'A surprisingly vivid and enjoyable study of what turns out to be a semina year - 1936 . . . Blakeway brings a TV producer's eye to the sweep of history and enlives it with a plethora of fresh insights and anecdotes' - Anthony Horowitz, Sun Tel Christmas books
'Politicians, poets and pacifist clerics share a brilliant, crowded canvas, with the sinister figure of Hitler looming in the background. Blakeway hardly misses a trick' - Sunday Telegraph