In this enjoyably icoclastic book, George Watson discusses some of the great heresies of the twentieth century, and the cultural heretics who espoused them, often with surprising results. Watson provides us with examples of 'true', original heretics, many of whom he has met and taught: from Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch, who asserted that his study of the remote past had made a radical of him, rather than any influence of modernism, to Douglas Adams, whom Watson knew as an undergraduate. Watson forces us to question various long-cherished political and intellectual assumptions in his witty and conversational style. Is sbbery really such a bad thing? Have we igred the links between socialism and gecide? He touches entertainingly upon subjects as diverse as literary theory (experimental fiction is often the last resort of those who have thing to say), and the uriginal conformism of teenage Marxists (incapable of actually reading Marx, as he is too boring). This is a work which will delight any reader seeking a uniquely personal perspective on the culture, history, and personalities of the twentieth century.
George Watson was Fellow in English at St. John's College, Cambridge. He published a number of books on literature and political thought, including 'The Literary Critics', its sequel, 'Never Ones for Theory?', 'The English Ideology', 'Lost Literature of Socialism' and 'Take Back the Past', also published by The Lutterworth Press. He was Sandars Reader in Bibliography, and was editor of the New Cambridge Bibliography of English Literature. He died in 2013.