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Head of Zeus
Fame is the Spur
05 Oct 2017 * PAPERBACK * £14 * 9781784976347

A novel of ambition, about a man who rises from the most humble of beginnings in Manchester and reaches the very top in politics.

Fiction / FC (Fiction)
Extent: 608 pages  Format: 198 x 129 mm
Exclusive: GB CA AU NZ IN ZA SG US
My Son, My Son
Also by Howard Spring
Fame is the Spurby Howard Spring, introduction by Tristram Hunt

'When they buried the Old Warrior there was only one small wreath to go on the coffin... John Hamer Shawcross never forgot that moment.

Hamer Shawcross is born into a poor but aspirational working-class family in Manchester. Studious and hard-working, he becomes a socialist activist, goes into politics and rises to become part of the privileged upper classes he began by opposing. Hamer's trajectory is mirrored by the rise of the Labour movement in Britain from the mid-19th century to the 1930s.

This wonderfully perceptive study of a career politician serves as a telling elegy for the Labour Party.

 
Howard Spring (1889-1965) won worldwide fame with his bestselling novel O Absalom! – afterwards reissued as My Son, My Son to avoid a clash with William Faulkner's Absalom, Absalom! He settled in Cornwall, the setting for books that followed, such as Fame Is the Spur (1940), Hard Facts (1944), and The Houses in Between (1951).

'The leading character is a magnificent piece of portraiture and round him revolves a number of brilliantly observed characters. Not for a long time have I enjoyed a book so much' Daily Telegraph

'A devastating memorial to the old-time Labour party' Daily Mail

'The tragedy of the novel rests not just in the arc it traces from the heroic era of the proletariat in Peterloo to the midnight of the twentieth century, but in the missed encounters and lost possibilities embodied in every Hamer Shawcross' TLS

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