James Walvin - Sugar - Little, Brown Book Group

Time remaining

  • -- days
  • -- hours
  • -- minutes
  • -- seconds
Other Formats
  • Paperback
    More information
    • ISBN:9781472138125
    • Publication date:07 Feb 2019
  • E-Book £P.O.R.
    More information
    • ISBN:9781472138118
    • Publication date:13 Jul 2017

Sugar

The world corrupted, from slavery to obesity

By James Walvin

  • Hardback
  • £18.99

How did a simple commodity, once the prized monopoly of kings and princes, become an essential ingredient in the lives of millions, before mutating yet again into the cause of a global health epidemic?

An 'entertaining, informative and utterly depressing global history of an important commodity . . . By alerting readers to the ways that modernity's very origins are entangled with a seemingly benign and delicious substance, Sugar raises fundamental questions about our world.'
Sven Beckert, the Laird Bell professor of American history at Harvard University and the author of Empire of Cotton: A Global History, in the New York Times

'A brilliant and thought-provoking history of sugar and its ironies'
Bee Wilson, Wall Street Journal

'Shocking and revelatory . . . no other product has so changed the world, and no other book reveals the scale of its impact.' David Olusoga

'This study could not be more timely.' Laura Sandy, Lecturer in the History of Slavery, University of Liverpool


How did a simple commodity, once the prized monopoly of kings and princes, become an essential ingredient in the lives of millions, before mutating yet again into the cause of a global health epidemic?

Prior to 1600, sugar was a costly luxury, the preserve of the rich. But with the rise of the European sugar colonies in the Americas in the seventeenth century, sugar became cheap, ubiquitous and hugely popular - an everyday necessity.

As recently as the 1970s, very few people suggested that sugar posed a global health problem;
yet today, sugar is regularly denounced as a dangerous addiction, on a par with tobacco, and the cause of a global obesity epidemic. While sugar cosumption remains higher than ever - in some countries as high as 50kg per head per year - some advertisements proudly proclaim that their product contains no sugar. Sugar, while still clearly much loved, has taken on a pariah status.

Sugar grown by enslaved workers - people who had been uprooted and shipped vast distances to undertake the gruelling, intensive labour on plantations - brought about revolutionary changes in the landscape of the sugar colonies while transforming the tastes of the Western world.

Only now is the extensive ecological harm caused by sugar plantations being fully recognised, but it is the brutal human cost, from the first slave gangs in sixteenth-century Brazil, through to indentured Indian labourers in Fiji, the Japanese in Hawaii or the 'South Sea Islanders' shipped to Australia in the late nineteenth century, that has struck us most forcibly in the recent past.

We can only fully understand our contemporary dietary concerns with regard to sugar by coming to terms with the relationship between society and sweetness over a long historical span dating back two centuries to a time when sugar was vital to the burgeoning European domestic and colonial economies. This is exactly what Walvin helps us to do.

Biographical Notes

JAMES WALVIN is the author of many books on slavery and modern social history. His book, Crossings, was published by Reaktion Books in 2013. His first book, with Michael Craton, was a detailed study of a sugar plantation: A Jamaican Plantation, Worthy Park, 1670-1970 (Toronto, 1970). He became a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 2006, and in 2008 was awarded an OBE for services to scholarship.

  • Other details

  • ISBN: 9781472138095
  • Publication date: 13 Jul 2017
  • Page count: 352
  • Imprint: Robinson
A brilliant and thought-provoking history of sugar and its ironies — Bee Wilson, Wall Street Journal
As an historian of slavery, Walvin is well-versed in the triangular trade and explains the role of sugar cane in bringing Africans to the Caribbean. His survey of sugar in our lives is very readable. — Katrina Gulliver, Spectator
A convincing, deep history of this (in)famous product . . . This is not simply the tale of those who toiled to produce sugar . . . Something more than just a scholarly text, this study could not be more timely — Laura Sandy, Lecturer in the History of Slavery at the University of Liverpool, History Today
This study could not be more timely. — Laura Sandy, Lecturer in the History of Slavery, University of Liverpool
A refreshingly historical look at a substance we often take for granted — History Revealed
Former history professor James Walvin's latest book aims to untangle the social, political, and economic history of sugar, a commodity that began as the preserve of the elite, but which now saturates cultures the world over' — NZME
An 'entertaining, informative and utterly depressing global history of an important commodity . . . By alerting readers to the ways that modernity's very origins are entangled with a seemingly benign and delicious substance, How Sugar Corrupted the World raises fundamental questions about our world.' — Sven Beckert, the Laird Bell professor of American history at Harvard University and the author of Empire of Cotton: A Global History, New York Times
Virago

Nobody's Victim

Carrie Goldberg
Authors:
Carrie Goldberg

Nobody's Victim is an unflinching look at a hidden world most people don't know exists - one of stalking, blackmail, and sexual violence, online and off - and the incredible story of how one lawyer, determined to fight back, turned her own hell into a revolution. "We are all a moment away from having our life overtaken by somebody hell-bent on our destruction." That grim reality - gleaned from personal experience and twenty years of trauma work - is a fundamental principle of Carrie Goldberg's cutting-edge victims' rights law firm. Riveting and an essential timely conversation-starter, Nobody's Victim invites readers to join Carrie on the front lines of the war against sexual violence and privacy violations as she fights for revenge porn and sextortion laws, uncovers major Title IX violations, and sues the hell out of tech companies, schools, and powerful sexual predators. Her battleground is the courtroom; her crusade is to transform clients from victims into warriors. In gripping detail, Carrie shares the diabolical ways her clients are attacked and how she, through her unique combination of advocacy, badass relentlessness, risk-taking, and client-empowerment, pursues justice for them all. There are stories about a woman whose ex-boyfriend made fake bomb threats in her name and caused a national panic; a fifteen-year-old girl who was sexually assaulted on school grounds and then suspended when she reported the attack; and a man whose ex-boyfriend used a dating app to send more than 1,200 men to ex's home and work for sex. With breathtaking honesty, Carrie also shares her own shattering story about why she began her work and the uphill battle of building a business. While her clients are a diverse group-from every gender, sexual orientation, age, class, race, religion, occupation, and background-the offenders are not. They are highly predictable. In this book, Carrie offers a taxonomy of the four types of offenders she encounters most often at her firm: assholes, psychos, pervs, and trolls. 'If we recognise the patterns of these perpetrators,' she explains, 'we know how to fight back.; Deeply personal yet achingly universal, Nobody's Victim is a bold and much-needed analysis of victim protection in the era of the Internet. This book is an urgent warning of a coming crisis, a predictor of imminent danger, and a weapon to take back control and protect ourselves-both online and off.

Da Capo Press

Waffen-SS

Adrian Gilbert
Authors:
Adrian Gilbert

The Waffen-SS was one of the most feared combat organizations of the twentieth century. Originally formed as a protection squad for Adolf Hitler it became the military wing of Heinrich Himmler's SS and a key part of the Nazi state, with nearly 900,000 men passing through its ranks. The Waffen-SS played a crucial role in furthering the aims of the Third Reich which made its soldiers Hitler's political operatives. During its short history, the elite military divisions of the Waffen-SS acquired a reputation for excellence, but their famous battlefield record of success was matched by their repeated and infamous atrocities against both soldiers and civilians.Waffen-SS is the first definitive single-volume military history of the Waffen-SS in more than 50 years. In considering the actions of its leading personalities, including Himmler, Sepp Dietrich, and Otto Skorzeny, and analyzing its specialist training and ideological outlook, eminent historian Adrian Gilbert chronicles the battles and campaigns that brought the Waffen-SS both fame and infamy.

Virago

Jonah's Gourd Vine

Zora Neale Hurston
Authors:
Zora Neale Hurston

With a new introduction by JESMYN WARD Born on the wrong side of the creek, John Buddy Pearson, the son of a slave, has come a long way since his shoeless days. With some schooling, a job and marriage to clever Lucy Potts, his fortunes are looking up. But, unable to resist the lure of women or a fight, he's forced to flee town or face life on the chain gang.John finds himself in Sanford, Florida, and sends for Lucy and the children. There, he discovers a talent for preaching, and, with the support of his wife, becomes pastor of Zion Hope Church, rousing his congregation with his fervent sermons. He is now a pillar of the community, respected and popular. Before long, though, he is praying for his own sins - for his powers of persuasion aren't limited to the pulpit - and the town won't stand for his philandering ways.Originally published in 1934, this is Zora Neale Hurston's first novel.

Constable

Glorious Goodwood

James Peill
Authors:
James Peill
Virago

Outrages

Naomi Wolf
Authors:
Naomi Wolf

The bestselling author of Vagina illuminates a dramatic history - how a single English law in 1857 led to a maelstrom, with reverberations lasting down to our day. That law was the Obscene Publications Act and it was a crucial turning point. Why? Because dissent and morality; 'deviancy' and 'normalcy'; unprintable and printable were suddenly lawful concepts in the modern sense. This new law effectively invented modern obscenity. Before 1857 it wasn't 'homosexuality' - a term that didn't yet exist - that was a crime, but simply the act of sodomy. But in a single stroke, not only was love between men illegal, but anything referring to this love also became obscene, unprintable, unspeakable. And writers, editors and printers became the gatekeepers with a responsibility to uphold the morals of the society - followed by serious criminal penalties if they didn't. And as the act evolved, joined by other laws against sexual representation and speech, making their way to courts, the authors' or artists' intentions were deemed immaterial. What mattered was if the work in question had a 'tendency . . . to deprave and corrupt those whose minds are open to such immoral influences, and into whose hands a publication of this sort may fall'. Wolf paints the dramatic ways this set of laws and consolidation of what we would call homophobia and censorship, played out among a bohemian group of sexual dissidents, including Walt Whitman in America and the homosexual English critic John Addington Symonds - in love with Whitman's homoerotic voice in Leaves of Grass - decades before the infamous 1895 trial of Oscar Wilde. She retrieves forgotten history of men and even young teenage boys, executed at the Old Bailey for 'sodomy' or even 'the attempt'. Algernon Charles Swinburne, Dante and Christina Rossetti, Walter Pater and painter Simeon Solomon, were among the writers and artists, and countless booksellers and printers, whose lives were shadowed with jeopardy from this emerging network of laws against speech and love. She depicts both a fascinating story and, crucially, an important way of understanding how we arrived at our ideas of 'normalcy' and 'deviancy' - and the idea of the state's purported need and right to police speech - ideas which are with us to this day. Most powerfully, Wolf recounts how a dying Symonds helped write the book on 'sexual inversion' that created our modern understanding of homosexuality. She argues that his secret memoir, mined and explained here fully for the first time, together with a secretly published essay, evolved into what would become the first mainstream gay rights manifesto in the west - proving that the literature of love will ultimately triumph over censorship.

Virago

She-Merchants, Buccaneers and Gentlewomen

Katie Hickman
Authors:
Katie Hickman
Hachette Australia

What Makes Us Tick

Hugh Mackay
Authors:
Hugh Mackay

Hachette Audio

Freedom

James Walvin
Authors:
James Walvin

In this timely and very readable new work, Walvin focuses not on abolitionism or the brutality and suffering of slavery, but on resistance, the resistance of the enslaved themselves - from sabotage and absconding to full-blown uprisings - and its impact in overthrowing slavery. He also looks that whole Atlantic world, including the Spanish Empire and Brazil. In doing so, he casts new light on one of the major shifts in Western history in the past five centuries. In the three centuries following Columbus's landfall in the Americas, slavery became a critical institution across swathes of both North and South America. It saw twelve million Africans forced onto slave ships, and had seismic consequences for Africa. It led to the transformation of the Americas and to the material enrichment of the Western world. It was also largely unquestioned. Yet within a mere seventy-five years during the nineteenth century slavery had vanished from the Americas: it declined, collapsed and was destroyed by a complexity of forces that, to this day, remains disputed, but there is no doubting that it was in large part defeated by those it had enslaved. Slavery itself came in many shapes and sizes. It is perhaps best remembered on the plantations - though even those can deceive. Slavery varied enormously from one crop to another- sugar, tobacco, rice, coffee, cotton. And there was in addition myriad tasks for the enslaved to do, from shipboard and dockside labour, to cattlemen on the frontier, through to domestic labour and child-care duties. Slavery was, then, both ubiquitous and varied. But if all these millions of diverse, enslaved people had one thing in common it was a universal detestation of their bondage. They wanted an end to it: they wanted to be like the free people around them. Most of these enslaved peoples did not live to see freedom. But an old freed man or woman in, say Cuba or Brazil in the 1880s, had lived through its destruction clean across the Americas. The collapse of slavery and the triumph of black freedom constitutes an extraordinary historical upheaval - and this book explains how that happened.

Hachette Audio

Black, Listed

Jeffrey Boakye
Authors:
Jeffrey Boakye

GUARDIAN MUST READ BOOKS OF 2019 FINANCIAL TIMES BOOKS TO READ 2019 NEW STATESMAN MUST READS 2019'A truly radical book, which manages to be unflinching and constantly entertaining' CAROLINE SANDERSON, THE BOOKSELLER BOOK OF THE MONTH APRIL 2019AFRICAN BOOKS ADDICT MOST ANTICIPATED BOOKS OF 2019***Who is a roadman really? What's wrong with calling someone a 'lighty'? Why do people think black guys are cool?These are just some of the questions being wrestled with in Black, Listed, an exploration of 21st century black identity told through a list of insults, insights and everything in-between.Taking a panoramic look at global black history, interrogating both contemporary and historical culture, Black, Listed investigates the ways in which black communities (and individuals) have been represented, oppressed, mimicked, celebrated, and othered. Part historical study, part autobiographical musing, part pop culture vivisection, it's a comprehensive attempt to make sense of blackness from the vantage point of the hilarious and insightful psyche of Jeffrey Boakye. Along the way, it explores a far reaching range of social and cultural contexts, including but not limited to, sport, art, entertainment, politics, literature, history, music, theatre, cinema, education and criminal justice, sometimes at the same time.

Constable

The League of Wives

Heath Hardage Lee
Authors:
Heath Hardage Lee

The true story of the fierce band of women who battled Washington - and Hanoi - to bring their husbands home from the jungles of Vietnam.On 12 February, 1973, one hundred and sixteen men who, just six years earlier, had been high flying Navy and Air Force pilots, shuffled, limped, or were carried off a huge military transport plane at Clark Air Base in the Philippines. These American servicemen had endured years of brutal torture, kept shackled and starving in solitary confinement, in rat-infested, mosquito-laden prisons, the worst of which was The Hanoi Hilton.Months later, the first Vietnam POWs to return home would learn that their rescuers were their wives, a group of women that included Jane Denton, Sybil Stockdale, Louise Mulligan, Andrea Rander, Phyllis Galanti, and Helene Knapp. These women, who formed The National League of Families, would never have called themselves 'feminists', but they had become the POW and MIAs most fervent advocates, going to extraordinary lengths to facilitate their husbands' freedom - and to account for missing military men - by relentlessly lobbying government leaders, conducting a savvy media campaign, conducting covert meetings with antiwar activists, and most astonishingly, helping to code secret letters to their imprisoned husbands.In a page-turning work of narrative non-fiction, Heath Hardage Lee tells the story of these remarkable women for the first time. The League of Wives is certain to be on everyone's must-read list.

Little, Brown

RCP 10: The Global RCP

Krishna Chinthapalli
Authors:
Krishna Chinthapalli

Constable

Viceroys

Christopher Lee
Authors:
Christopher Lee
Virago

Fruit of Knowledge

Liv Strömquist
Authors:
Liv Strömquist

'How I loved reading Liv Strömquist's Fruit of Knowledge. Mostly, this was down to its sheer, punchy brilliance ... If her strips are clever, angry, funny and righteous, they're also informative to an eye-popping degree ... Every page is so fantastically acute' Rachel Cooke, Observer Graphic Novel of the MonthFrom Adam and Eve to pussy hats, people have punished, praised, pathologised and politicised vulvas, vaginas, clitorises, and menstruation. In the international bestseller Fruit of Knowledge, celebrated Swedish cartoonist Liv Strömquist traces how different cultures and traditions have shaped women's health and beyond. Her biting, informed commentary and ponytailed avatar guides the reader from the darkest chapters of history (a clitoridectomy performed on a five-year-old American child as late as 1948) to the lightest (vulvas used as architectural details as a symbol of protection). Like Alison Bechdel and Jacky Fleming, she uses the comics medium to reveal uncomfortable truths about how far we haven't come.'Just the thing for all the feminists in your life' Observer Books of the Year'This book made me laugh in public (and also cry a little). It is the book I gave to my younger sister the next time I saw her because of its anger and brilliance and because it is an overwhelming source of knowledge about things we should all already know' Daisy Johnson, author of the Man Booker Prize-shortlisted Everything Under 'There are moments of genuine hilarity, as when Strömquist pictures the dinner party chatter of men living under a matriarchy, and others of fierce anger in this wild, witty and vital book' Observer Books of the Year

Dialogue Books

The Old Slave and the Mastiff

Patrick Chamoiseau
Authors:
Patrick Chamoiseau

NEW YORK TIMES EDITOR'S CHOICE AND BOOKS OF THE YEAR 2018PUBLISHERS WEEKLY BEST BOOKS OF 2018CHICAGO REVIEW OF BOOKS 'MOST ANTICIPATED FICTION BOOKS OF 2018' '(A) beautiful book, by a writer who's as original as any I've read all year' Sam Sacks , Wall Street Journal'My favorite Caribbean writer' Junot Diaz'A cloudburst of a novel, swift and compressed- but every page pulses, blood-warm. . . . The prose is so electrifying . . . that, on more than one occasion, I found myself stopping to rub my eyes in disbelief' Parul Seghal, The New York Times 'Haunting, beautiful, and necessary' Buzzfeed'Heir of Joyce and Kafka' Milan Kundera***A profoundly unsettling story of a plantation slave's desperate escape into a rainforest beyond human control, with his master and a ferocious dog on his heels. This flight to freedom takes them on a journey that will transform them all, as the overwhelming physical presence of the forest and its dense primeval wilderness reshapes reality and time itself. In the darkness, the old man grapples with the spirits of all those who have gone before him; the knowledge that the past is always with us, and the injustice that can cry out from beyond the grave. From a Prix Goncourt writer hailed by Milan Kundera as the "heir of Joyce and Kafka," The Old Slave and the Mastiff fearlessly portrays the demonic cruelties of the slave trade and its human costs ­- a wise, loving tribute to the Creole culture of Martinique, and a vividly told journey into the heart of Caribbean history and human endurance.

Robinson

The Battered Body Beneath the Flagstones, and Other Victorian Scandals

Michelle Morgan
Authors:
Michelle Morgan

'Ghoulishly entertaining' Jacqueline Banerjee, Times Literary SupplementA grisly book dedicated to the crimes, perversions and outrages of Victorian England, covering high-profile offences - such as the murder of actor William Terriss, whose stabbing at the stage door of the Adelphi Theatre in 1897 filled the front pages for many weeks - as well as lesser-known transgressions that scandalised the Victorian era.The tales include murders and violent crimes, but also feature scandals that merely amused the Victorians. These include the story of a teenage man who married an actress, only to be shipped off to Australia by his disgusted parents; and the Italian ice-cream man who only meant to buy his sweetheart a hat but ended up proposing marriage instead. When he broke it off, his fiancée's father sued him and the story was dubbed the 'Amusing Aberdeen Breach of Promise Case'. Also present is the gruesome story of the murder of Patrick O Connor who was shot in the head and buried under the kitchen flagstones by his lover Maria Manning and her husband, Frederick. The couple's subsequent trial caused a sensation and even author Charles Dickens attended the grisly public hanging.Drawing on a range of sources from university records and Old Bailey transcripts to national and regional newspaper archives, Michelle Morgan's research sheds new light on well-known stories as well as unearthing previously unknown incidents.

Robinson

Mismatch

Ronald Giphart, Mark van Vugt
Authors:
Ronald Giphart, Mark van Vugt

Our brains evolved to solve the survival problems of our Stone Age ancestors, so when faced with modern day situations that are less extreme, they often encounter a mismatch. Our primitive brains put us on the wrong foot by responding to stimuli that - in prehistoric times - would have prompted behaviour that was beneficial. If you've ever felt an anxious fight or flight response to a presenting at a board meeting, equivalent to facing imminent death by sabre-toothed tiger, then you have experienced a mismatch.Mismatch is about the clash between our biology and our culture. It is about the dramatic contrast between the first few million years of human history - when humans lived as hunters and gatherers in small-scale societies - and the past twelve thousand years following the agricultural revolution which have led us to comfortable lives in a very different social structure. Has this rapid transition been good for us? How do we, using our primitive minds, try to survive in a modern information society that radically changes every ten years or so?Ronald Giphart and Mark van Vugt show that humans have changed their environment so drastically that the chances for mismatch have significantly increased, and these conflicts can have profound consequences.Reviewed through mismatch glasses, social, societal, and technological trends can be better understood, ranging from the popularity of Facebook and internet porn, to the desire for cosmetic surgery, to our attitudes towards refugees.Mismatches can also affect our physical and psychological well-being, in terms of our attitudes to happiness, physical exercise, choosing good leaders, or finding ways to feel better at home or work.Finally, Mismatch gives us an insight into politics and policy which could enable governments, institutions and businesses to create an environment better suited to human nature, its potential and its constraints.This book is about converting mismatches into matches. The better your life is matched to how your mind operates, the greater your chances of leading a happy, healthy and productive life.

Little, Brown

Gibraltar

Lesley Adkins, Roy Adkins
Authors:
Lesley Adkins, Roy Adkins

For over three and a half years, from 1779 to 1783, the tiny territory of Gibraltar was besieged and blockaded, on land and at sea, by the overwhelming forces of Spain and France. It became the longest siege in British history, and the obsession with saving Gibraltar was blamed for the loss of the American colonies in the War of Independence. Located between the Mediterranean and Atlantic, on the very edge of Europe, Gibraltar was a place of varied nationalities, languages, religions and social classes. During the siege, thousands of soldiers, civilians and their families withstood terrifying bombardments, starvation and diseases. Very ordinary people lived through extraordinary events, from shipwrecks and naval battles to an attempted invasion of England and a daring sortie out of Gibraltar into Spain. Deadly innovations included red-hot shot, shrapnel shells and a barrage from immense floating batteries.This is military and social history at its best, a story of soldiers, sailors and civilians, with royalty and rank-and-file, workmen and engineers, priests, prisoners-of-war, spies and surgeons, all caught up in a struggle for a fortress located on little more than two square miles of awe-inspiring rock. Gibraltar: The Greatest Siege in British History is an epic page-turner, rich in dramatic human detail - a tale of courage, endurance, intrigue, desperation, greed and humanity. The everyday experiences of all those involved are brought vividly to life with eyewitness accounts and expert research.'A fascinating, well-crafted account of a siege that defined Britishness' Andrew Lambert, BBC History Magazine

Constable

The Salient

Alan Palmer
Authors:
Alan Palmer

Ypres today is an international 'Town of Peace', but in 1914 the town, and the Salient, the 35-mile bulge in the Western Front, of which it is part, saw a 1500-day military campaign of mud and blood at the heart of the First World War that turned it into the devil's nursery. Distinguished biographer and historian of modern Europe Alan Palmer tells the story of the war in Flanders as a conflict that has left a deep social and political mark on the history of Europe. Denying Germany possession of the historic town of Ypres and access to the Channel coast was crucial to Britain's victory in 1918. But though Flanders battlefields are the closest on the continent to English shores, this was always much more than a narrowly British conflict. Passchendaele, the Menin Road, Hill 60 and the Messines Ridge remain names etched in folk memory. Militarily and tactically the four-year long campaign was innovative and a grim testing ground with constantly changing ideas of strategy and disputes between politicians and generals. Alan Palmer details all its aspects in an illuminating history of the place as much as the fighting man's experience.

Robinson

The Ludicrous Laws of Old London

Nigel Cawthorne
Authors:
Nigel Cawthorne

London abounds with all manner of ludicrous laws, and not all of these curious statutes have been relegated to the past. Despite the efforts of the Law Commission there are medieval laws that are still in force, and the City of London and its livery companies have their own legal oddities. Laws are made in the capital because parliament is here; so are the Old Bailey, the Law Courts, the House of Lords and, now, the Supreme Court. The privy council, which sometimes has to decide cases, also sits in London, and there were other courts that used to sit in London, from prize courts concerning war booty to ecclesiastical courts. Having maintained its 'ancient rights and freedoms' under Magna Carta, the City felt free to enact its own laws, many of which seem to have had to do with what people could wear. Until quite recently, for example, a man could be arrested for walking down the street wearing a wig, a robe and silk stockings - unless he was a judge. And all human folly has been paraded through the law courts of London, to the extent that it is difficult to know where the serious business of administering justice ends and where farce begins. As law is made in the courtroom as well as in parliament and elsewhere, judges like to keep a firm hand, but sometimes so-called jibbing juries will simply not do what they are told. All sorts of oddities get swept up into the law. Legislators particularly love to pass Acts about sex. If sexual services are being offered in a London massage parlour, for example, a police officer must then search the premises for school children. According to The Children and Young Persons Act of 1933 it is against the law for children and 'yowling persons' between the age of four and sixteen to frequent a brothel. A writ was introduced under both Edward III and Henry IV to ban lawyers from parliament as there were too many of them, the reason being that it was easier for a lawyer to spend his time in London attending parliament that it was for a knight of the shires. But because parliament was already packed with lawyers it was difficult to make any such rule stick. Then an effective way of excluding them was found. They were denied the wages paid to members in those days. Sadly, these days, parliament and the government are packed with lawyers once again. And they are being paid.A law passed in 1540 - and still in force today - makes it illegal for barbers in the City of London to practise surgery; with impeccable impartiality, the Act also forbids surgeons to cut hair. Finally, never forget that under the Vagrancy Act of 1824, you can be convicted of being 'an idle and disorderly person, or a rogue, vagabond, or incorrigible rogue'. The same act also outlaws people 'professing to tell fortunes', including 'palmistry'. Under the Act, it is an offence merely to be suspected.

Robinson

The Good, the Bad and the Wurst

Geoff Tibballs
Authors:
Geoff Tibballs

YES, IT'S EUROVISION TIME AGAIN! THE PERFECT GIFT FOR THE EUROVISION FAN IN YOUR LIFE!For 60 years the Eurovision Song Contest has existed in a parallel universe where a song about the construction of a hydro-electric power station is considered cutting-edge pop, where half a dozen warbling Russian grandmothers are considered Saturday night entertainment, where a tune repeating the word 'la' 138 times is considered a winner, and where Australia is considered part of Europe During those sixty years we have witnessed scandals: in 1957, Denmark's Birthe Wilke and Gustav Winckler enjoyed an outrageously long 13-second kiss because the stage manager forgot to say 'cut' during the live broadcast. We have witnessed national outrage: the 1976 Greek entry was a savage indictment of Turkish foreign policy in Cyprus. But most have all we have witnessed silly costumes, terrible lyrics and performers as diverse as Celine Dion and Dustin the Turkey.This book chronicles the 100 craziest moments in the history of Eurovision - the drag acts, the bad acts, the nul points heroes and the night in Luxembourg when the floor manager warned the audience not to stand up while they applauded because they might be shot by security forces. It captures some of the magic from this yearly event that continues to beguile and bemuse in equal measure.