Review: Roy Hattersley, Holt Festival
- Credit: Archant
Auden Theatre, Gresham's School, Holt
The years have dealt kindly with Roy Hattersley since he quit active politics and turned instead, with considerable success, to the chronicles of Buster and a number of historical biographies.
The most recent, with the title The Devonshires, is about one of the greatest, richest and most remarkable English families.
The family's rise from fake origins to the rank of duke formed the subject of the former secretary of state's engaging Holt Festival lecture.
Speaking easily, without notes, he told his well-researched tale clearly. Dovetailing in the odd vivid detail, he occasionally added sly asides, so we should not forget that he had his personal take on all this.
Over the centuries the Devonshires played their part in public life, without climbing quite so high as might have been expected.
- 1 Pub transformed into 'breathtaking' family home for sale for almost £1m
- 2 Man accidentally downloaded indecent images of children, court hears
- 3 Delays expected with A47 to close in both directions for 15 miles
- 4 Man had cocaine hidden in car when stopped by police
- 5 Family 'increasingly concerned' about missing Beccles woman
- 6 Flood alert on the Broads due to high water levels
- 7 Chef reopens historic Norwich coffee shop with roasts on the menu too
- 8 Here are the new Covid travel rules which begin today
- 9 Items from Lidl and Sainsbury's recalled over health and safety concerns
- 10 Trains cancelled after lorry crashes into bridge
Perhaps they were more focused on amassing wealth through advantageous marriage settlements, even if the policy did not always make for happy family life.
We were given some insight into the way the Devonshires ran their estates and reminded that Paxton, of Crystal Palace fame, tended the gardens at palatial Chatsworth.
For Hattersley, though, the abiding characteristic of the family was imperturbable self-confidence coupled with blithe aristocratic disdain for other people's opinions.