History Today eBook: The Second World War

Kenneth Walthew

Kenneth Walthew explains how, on a visit to Malta for medicinal purposes, Thomas Bowdler the purifyer of English literature, found himself involved in a farce which was worthy of a Gilbert and Sullivan operetta.

As flames consumed the Houses of Parliament in 1834, one of the watching spectators, explains Kenneth Walthew, was Captain William George Manby who had done 'more than any man in England to combat the horrendous loss of life and property caused by fire'.

The Exhibition held in Wembley in 1924 was intended to herald a great Imperial revival - in fact, as Kenneth Walthew shows here, it was to prove an escapist delight from post-war gloom and retrenchment.