Jeremy thorpe

Norman Scott has the last word on a very English scandal

I’m glad Norman Scott can say he has ‘always had the ability to laugh at the absurdity’ of his existence because, as detailed here in a long-awaited memoir, I too couldn’t stop shrieking, he is so tragic. When he came home unexpectedly as a youngster, for example, and witnessed his mother having sex in the lounge with a telephone engineer, he was so shocked he dropped his tortoise. ‘The terrible guilt over my tortoise stayed with me,’ he writes – maybe until just the other day. Scott is now 82. He’ll always be remembered of course for the Jeremy Thorpe trial, when the judge, Mr Justice Cantley, called him a

A beastly cold country: Britain in 1962

Like this author, I was happily snowbound at a beloved grandparent’s house during the big freeze that began on Boxing Day 1962 and ended in early March the following year. I was in Sussex, she at Sissinghurst in Kent. Juliet Nicolson, then eight, describes the morning of 27 December: ‘The snow was still there, turning the landmarks of the garden — the walls, lawns, statues, urns — into something unrecognisable but unified. The sight was beautiful.’ Her grandmother, Vita Sackville-West, had died in June, leaving the house to Nigel Nicolson, Juliet’s father. It was his family’s first Christmas there. In The Perfect Summer: England 1911 Nicolson wrote of an earlier