Landmark: George Dangerfield's The Strange Death of Liberal England

As part of BBC Radio 3's Music on the Brink season Professor Roy Foster, the journalist and author Nick Cohen, Baroness Shirley Williams, Duncan Brack of the Liberal Democrat History Group and the author Bea Campbell join Philip Dodd to discuss a Landmark book which explores the collapse of Liberal values in Britain. And does ''The Strange Death of Liberal England' written by George Dangerfield in 1934 have a message for political debate and the wider culture now?

You can download this programme by searching under the Arts and Ideas Podcasts by the broadcast date.

Dangerfield's first memory as a child was of being held up to a window in May 1910 to watch Halley's Comet falling across the sky and it is with this moment in time that he begins his book. The Right Honourable Herbert Henry Asquith is watching the comet from the deck of an Admiralty Yacht way out in the Bay of Biscay having just heard via wireless that Edward VII is dead. And as HMS Enchantress tacks for Plymouth, Asquith stands in the summer ocean twilight and wonders how the new George V will tackle the political crises that lie just ahead.

The rapid collapse of self-confidence from the apogee of Empire to industrial unrest, mutiny, civil war in Ireland, The Parliament Act of 1911, the Suffragette movement: this was the reality of the lead-up to World War I. It was a period which marked the end of English Liberalism, and this is Dangerfield's subject.

Producer Neil Trevithick.

Release date:

Available now

45 minutes

Last on

Thu 9 Jan 2014 22:00


Image credit: 1912, The Mildred: Gurnards Head. From the Gibson archive of Scilly. Courtesy of National Maritime Museum.


Role Contributor
PresenterPhilip Dodd
Interviewed GuestShirley Williams
Interviewed GuestRoy Foster
Interviewed GuestNick Cohen
Interviewed GuestDuncan Brack
Interviewed GuestBea Campbell
ProducerNeil Trevithick

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