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Advertising: A Mad Man's World

Gordon Marsden, a former editor of History Today, reflects on the advertisements that helped to fund the first 20 years of this magazine’s publication and explores the wider messages they reveal about sexism, empire and swinging Britain during the 1950s and 1960s.

A 1965 advertisement for the Financial Times. Click on image to see a slideshow of ads.‘The past is a foreign country – they do things differently there.’ In the famous opening to L.P. Hartley’s novel The Go-Between, its narrator Leo looks back to his lost childhood in Edwardian England, trying to make sense of what happened. But how do we get back to that foreign country – to understand how different attitudes then and now can be?

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