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The Magnificent Ambersons

George Orwell is not the only author with things to tell us about the current American government. See below...


Welcome to InfoBritain, for historical visiting information in the UK. InfoBritain tells you what happened and where it happened. We have articles and visits relating to all historical periods from prehistoric Britain to recent times, and to the lives of major British authors, artists, musicians, scientists, politicians, military and royal figures. You can use our site search, or our various menus to find suggested visits relating to times or people. Alternatively go to the regions menu, find a place to visit in a particular area, and then link back to the history relating to it. We also have a full accommodation booking service for all parts of the mainland UK. We specialise in historic accommodation, but we also have comprehensive lists of hotels of all types and price ranges. See the regional menus on the right. Enjoy!

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A Personal Note (Archive)

February 25, 2017

Sales of George Orwell's novel 1984 are apparently increasing in response to events in the United States. Orwell's Doublethink and Two Minute Hate readily lend themselves to parallels with "alternative facts" and the whipping up of hatred against perceived "others". But it's not only a writer like Orwell who we can turn to for enlightenment. Any writer with a eye to human nature could help us. I'd like to refer you, for example, to Booth Tarkington, Princeton Graduate and author of the sparkling, good humoured novel The Magnificent Ambersons. Wealthy, patrician, conservative Tarkington seemingly has little in common with Orwell; but yesterday I read the section in The Magnificent Ambersons where Eugene Morgan tries to help his daughter understand arrogance. Eugene's observations will strike a chord with any number of contemporary American journalists:

"That's one of the greatest puzzles of human vanity, dear, and I don't pretend to know the answer. In all my life, the most arrogant people that I've known have been the most sensitive. The people who have done the most in contempt of other people's opinion, and who consider themselves the highest above it, have been the most furious if it went against them. Arrogant and domineering people can't stand the least, lightest, faintest breath of criticism. It just kills them."

Best wishes


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Historical news for March

The National Trust is staging a number of events for Mother's Day. For more details go to

Portsmouth Historic Dockyad is running a special event this month, exploring the role of women in the Royal Navy. Event runs on 17th March, 10am to 4pm. For more details go to

Following the EU referendum last year, the National Trust is exploring Britain's relationship with Europe through 99 objects drawn from its huge collection across its many properties.

"Each weekday over a period of 99 days, we will be highlighting a particular object on our collections website. We'll be looking at everything from Old Master paintings and priceless heirlooms to some of the more quirky and bizarre items in our collection."

For more details go to


Anniversaries for March

2nd March 1949: A B50 Superfortress bomber called Lady Lucky II makes the first nonstop flight around the world, taking off from Fort Worth, Texas, and landing there again ninety four hours and one minute later.

3rd March 2005: Steve Fosset, piloting the Virgin Global flyer aircraft makes the first nonstop solo flight around the world without refuelling.

10th March 1969: A court in Memphis, Tennesee, jails James Earl Ray for 99 years, after he admits murdering civil rights leader Martin Luther King.

16th March 1976: Harold Wilson unexpectedly resigns as prime minister. Conspiracy theories arose as to his reasons, but after eight years as prime minister, and thirty one years as an MP, he had simply had enough.

20th March 1979: Prime minister James Callaghan loses a vote of confidence by one vote, forcing him to call an early general election.

25th March 1980: The British Olympic Association votes to send athletes to the Moscow Olympics, despite government pressure to boycott the games in protest at Russia's invasion of Afghanistan.

30th March 1978:The Conservative Party hires advertising agency Saatchi and Saatchi to run their campaign for re-election.The campaign resulted in the famous "Labour Isn't Working" posters showing a queue of actors lined up at a dole office.

A preview of my novel - about a girl who discovers that surprisingly she can't find her way to the sort of secret world found in story books. So she searches for an alternative.



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Thank you to photo contributors Danielle Davis, Jean Edwards, Vicky Eagle of Portsmouth Dockyard, Kevin Edwards, Derick Fusco, Julian Jones, Richard Jones, Jackie Lewis, Debbie Lowless, Judy Mills of the Corinium Museum, Jane Barron of the World Rugby Museum, and Susan Stuart of Old Spitalfields Market.

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