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Russell Davies was born in Barmouth, North Wales, and educated at Manchester Grammar School. He was a Major Scholar at St John's College Cambridge, where he took a First class degree in Modern Languages. Having been Secretary of the Footlights Club, he became an actor before turning to journalism. His posts ranged from Caricaturist of the Times Literary Supplement to Film Critic of the Observer, where he served three years as football correspondent. He later became TV critic of the Observer and Sunday Times. Since 1979 he has been a regular broadcaster on radio and TV. He still supplies music documentaries to Radio 2, where his Song Show ran for fifteen years. He first chaired Brain of Britain in 2004. His books include biographies of the cartoonist Vicky and the graphic artist Ronald Searle, and he edited the Kenneth Williams Diaries. He is married with three sons, and has played jazz trombone and tuba since 1964.
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In an extended account of national identity, this companion volume to People, Places and Passions provides the first detailed study of the sexual and spiritual life of Wales in the period 1870-1945. The author argues that whilst Wales and its people experienced a disenchantment of the spiritual world, a revolution in sexual life was taking place. This innovative study examines how advances in life expectancy and improvements in health were reflected in emotional life. In contrast to the traditional emphasis upon hardship and hardscrabble experiences, this fascinating and beautifully written volume shows that the Welsh were also a free and fun-loving people.
The first of two volumes on the social history of Wales in the period 1870-1948, People, Places and Passions concentrates on the social events and changes which created and forged Wales into the mid-twentieth century. This volume considers a range of social changes little considered elsewhere by studies in Welsh history, accounting for the role played by the people of Wales in times of war and the age of the British Empire, and in technological change and innovation, as they travelled the developing capitalist and consumerist world in search of fame and fortune.
This is an account of the origins of Robert Maxwell's business success in the intelligence community, his links thereafter with the world's foremost intelligence agencies, and the backroom diplomacy which took him to the heart of world affairs.