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CVHF2021 talks by Juliet Nicolson

45. FROSTQUAKE: THE FROZEN WINTER OF 1962 AND HOW BRITAIN EMERGED A DIFFERENT COUNTRY

On Boxing Day 1962 the snow began to fall. It did not stop for ten weeks. The drifts in East Sussex reached twenty-three feet. In London, milkmen made deliveries on skis. The threat of nuclear war had reached its terrifying height with the recent Cuban Missile Crisis; unemployment was on the rise; de Gaulle was blocking Britain from joining the European Economic Community. And yet underneath the frozen surface, new life was beginning to stir. A new breed of satirists threatened the complacent decadence of the British establishment. A game-changing band from Liverpool topped the charts. Scandals such as the Profumo Affair exposed racial and sexual prejudice. When the thaw came, ten weeks of extraordinary weather had acted as a catalyst between two distinct eras. From poets to pop stars, shopkeepers to schoolchildren, and her own family’s experiences, Juliet Nicolson will brilliantly trace the hardship of that frozen winter and the emancipation that followed.

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