A Very English Scandal

A Very English Scandal

Now a Major BBC Series Starring Hugh Grant

Summary

Penguin presents the unabridged, downloadable, audiobook edition of A Very English Scandal by John Preston, read by Daniel Weyman.

The bestselling book that inspired the Bafta-winning BBC drama

Corruption. Blackmail. Conspiracy to murder. A Very English Scandal has all the hallmarks of a classic thriller with one difference. It's all true.

In the late 1960s Jeremy Thorp, the charismatic leader of the Liberal Party, was at the height of his political career. But homosexuality had only just been legalized, and a former relationship with a younger man named Norman Scott threatened to destroy Thorp's carefully curated facade. Helped by fellow politicians, Thorpe schemed, deceived and embezzled until he saw only one way to silence his ex-lover for good.

Meticulously researched and endlessly extraordinary, Thorp's trial captured the moment that British society discovered the truth about its political class - and learned just how far the Establishment will go to protect its own.

'Gripping. A story of cack-handed assassins, buffoonish policemen, dodgy Home Secretaries' Daily Telegraph

'I loved it; eccentric, dark, humane and English in the very best sense' Alain de Botton

'Retold with masterful skill . . . It grips like a detective story' Daily Mail, Book of the Week

Reviews

  • A terrific book and brilliantly researched. John Preston writes wonderful dead-pan prose and reveals the depths of depravity, the absurd power of snobbery and the old boy networks of the time
    Claire Tomalin

About the author

John Preston

John Preston is a former Arts Editor of the Evening Standard and the Sunday Telegraph. For ten years he was the Sunday Telegraph's television critic and one of its chief feature writers. His novel, The Dig, based on the 1939 archaeological excavation at Sutton Hoo in Suffolk, has been filmed starring Ralph Fiennes, Carey Mulligan and Lily James. His first nonfiction book, A Very English Scandal, was published to great acclaim in 2016 and turned into BAFTA-winning BBC drama series. His latest book Fall: The Mystery of Robert Maxwell was published to great acclaim in February 2021. It has been shortlisted for both the Baillie Gifford Prize and the Costa Biography Prize and is being adapted for television by Working Title productions.
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