Thursday, March 05, 2020

Hemel Hempstead wasn't built in a day

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A lovely paragraph from the Guardian obituary of the historian Paul Addison:
His work not only demonstrated how the great forces of history meshed with the agency of individuals but also displayed a wonderfully elegant style and turn of phrase. In The Road to 1945 he characterised wartime Britain as "Colonel Blimp being pursued through a land of Penguin Specials by an abrasive meritocrat, a progressive churchman, and J.B. Priestley". My own favourite line comes in a chapter on Britain’s New Towns in Now the War is Over: "If Rome was not built in a day, neither was Hemel Hempstead."
The obituary also records that Gordon Brown once wrote of Addison:
"I feel privileged to have been taught by him and to have counted him as a friend."

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