- Title: Fame Is The Spur
- Author: Howard Spring
- ISBN: null
- Page: 359
- Format: Hardcover
A novel of ambition, about a man who rises from the most humble of beginnings in Manchester and reaches the very top in politics in the era when the Labour Party was born after a great struggle Hamer Shawcross is a victim of his own success, and certainly one of the great characters of English literature.
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This is the second Spring novel reissued by Apollo, following last year’s release of My Son, My Son. It traces the rise and fall of England’s Labour Party through the imagined course of politician John Hamer Shawcross, who rises above his working-class Manchester upbringing to make something of himself. The novel, reminiscent in style of the work of Arnold Bennett, moves back and forth between the protagonist’s childhood and his older age. Have all his titles and successes brought him over [...]
My father recommended this one to me years ago. Until then, I could hardly call myself a political being, and I read it more out of respect for dad than a willingness to embrace the subject matter. But like dad, the themes in this book have stayed with me over the years. It is about politics in Britain, but it allows the reader to take from it what he or she wishes. What stood out for me in the story was the suffrage of women - something that, as a 'modern' girl, I was completely unaware of. I h [...]
I read this book in my mid teens (it belonged to my Mother) and it has stayed with me ever since (almost 50 years). Essential reading for anyone interested in learning about the struggles of the working classleading to the formation of the Labour Party. Powerful and moving.
A fascinating book about the corruption of a labour politician into a member of the heriditary peerage, with an excuse for every betrayal along the way.The depiction of the fight of the suffragettes - the protagonists wife becomes one - and the physical and mental abuse they encountered is one of the most moving parts.There is also, of course, the Old Warrior's recount of the events of the Peterloo Masscacre, and the sabre which he took from St Peter's Field as a token of the oppression of the p [...]
Howard Spring is one of my favourite authors and this is one of his most famous books. I loved it for the style, the emotion, the passion and the politics. If you've never read his work and you are interested in Labour political history, this will fascinate you.
This was by no means a perfect book. There were large sections where it slowed down and I found myself reading other things. But it was a book that was well-worth the time that I spent on it, its ruminations on fame and struggle, on honesty and commitment, on disillusionment and compromise, and on above all, mortality, make it very thoughtful reading. Although in some ways a bildrungsroman, it's really much more than that. It encompasses a period of great strife in English history seen through t [...]
A fantastic read - spanning the early days of the Labour movement and ranging as far back as the Peterloo massacre. I learnt so much from this book when I was younger I enjoyed comparing Bradford and Manchester as described against how I know them now and in that sense it is nostalgicI empathised with most of the central characters but found myself proud and disappointed in HamerDefinitely worth it!
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