The Secret Worlds of Stephen Ward: Sex, Scandal, and Deadly Secrets in the Profumo Affair

Open Road Media
Free sample

A tour de force account of seduction, power, and betrayal in the biggest political sex scandal of its age
The Profumo Affair rocked the British establishment like no scandal before or since. The Tory war minister, John Profumo, had taken up with a teenager named Christine Keeler, who was also sleeping with a Soviet intelligence agent. The ensuing inquiry revealed a hidden underworld in which men of the ruling classes and politicians cavorted with prostitutes at orgies. The revelations shook the British government and sent shock waves all the way to the Kennedy White House. The man at the center of the storm was Dr. Stephen Ward.
Ward was a successful doctor to the rich and powerful, a talented artist who drew portraits of many of his famous patients and fixed up prominent men with young women. He was also a pawn, ruthlessly exploited by the intelligence agencies. When the Profumo Affair threatened the government, Ward became a scapegoat, hounded to death—and perhaps murdered.
For the first time, The Secret Worlds of Stephen Ward reveals the names that could not be exposed and the truths that could not be told until now.
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About the author

Anthony Summers is the bestselling author of eight works of nonfiction. His investigative books include Not in Your Lifetime, the critically acclaimed account of the assassination of John F. Kennedy; Official and Confidential: The Secret Life of J. Edgar Hoover; Goddess, a biography of Marilyn Monroe; and most recently The Eleventh Day, on the 9/11 attacks—a finalist for the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for History.
Stephen Dorril is the author of MI6: Fifty Years of Special Operations and other authoritative books on intelligence.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Open Road Media
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Published on
Feb 25, 2014
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Pages
472
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ISBN
9781480466982
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Language
English
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Genres
Biography & Autobiography / Political
History / Europe / Great Britain / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Read Aloud
Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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Are sex scandals simply trivial distractions from serious issues or can they help democratize politics? In 1820, George IV's "royal gambols" with his mistresses endangered the Old Oak of the constitution. When he tried to divorce Queen Caroline for adultery, the resulting scandal enabled activists to overcome state censorship and revitalize reform. Looking at six major British scandals between 1763 and 1820, this book demonstrates that scandals brought people into politics because they evoked familiar stories of sex and betrayal. In vibrant prose woven with vivid character sketches and illustrations, Anna Clark explains that activists used these stories to illustrate constitutional issues concerning the Crown, Parliament, and public opinion.

Clark argues that sex scandals grew out of the tension between aristocratic patronage and efficiency in government. For instance, in 1809 Mary Ann Clarke testified that she took bribes to persuade her royal lover, the army's commander-in-chief, to promote officers, buy government offices, and sway votes. Could women overcome scandals to participate in politics?


This book also explains the real reason why the glamorous Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire, became so controversial for campaigning in a 1784 election. Sex scandal also discredited Mary Wollstonecraft, one of the first feminists, after her death.


Why do some scandals change politics while others fizzle? Edmund Burke tried to stir up scandal about the British empire in India, but his lurid, sexual language led many to think he was insane.


A unique blend of the history of sexuality and women's history with political and constitutional history, Scandal opens a revealing new window onto some of the greatest sex scandals of the past. In doing so, it allows us to more fully appreciate the sometimes shocking ways democracy has become what it is today.

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