1952: World on the Cusp

Nicolette Jones, Maureen Lipman, Malcolm Rifkind, A.N. Wilson

Chair: Mark Lawson

05/03/2022 7:00 pm
Kings Place, Hall 1

1952 saw the Queen ascend to the throne, The Mousetrap open in the West End and the first Jewish Book Week; all going strong 70 years on while thankfully London’s other big event, the Great Smog is not. Further afield, Albert Einstein declined the offer to succeed Chaim Weizmann as the second president of four-year-old Israel, the first European Parliament was established, McCarthyism stepped up in the US and after Operation Hurricane off the north-west coast of Australia, Britain became the third global nuclear power. In the world of words, the year saw Anne Frank’s diaries translated into English for the first time, the launch of Mad and NME, and books published include Charlotte’s WebEast of EdenThe Borrowers and major works by Isaac Asimov, Vasily Grossman, Barbara Pym and Arthur Koestler.

Mark Lawson is joined by actress & writer Maureen Lipman, former Defence & Foreign Secretary Malcolm Rifkind, Sunday Times children’s books editor Nicolette Jones and author A.N. Wilson.

Sponsored by Dangoor Education

Nicolette Jones


Nicolette Jones is an award-winning author, critic and broadcaster, specialising in literary and arts journalism. She has been the children’s book reviewer of The Sunday Times for more than two decades, and in 2012 was shortlisted for the Eleanor Farjeon Award for distinguished service to the world of children’s books.  She has been a Director of the children’s young adult programme at the Oxford Literary Festival and a Royal Literary Fund Writing Fellow at UCL.

Maureen Lipman


Maureen Lipman is an acclaimed film, theatre and television actress, columnist and comedian. She is the author of nine books and writes regularly for Standpoint magazine and Spectator Health.

Mark Lawson


Mark Lawson is an English journalist, broadcaster and author. Specialising in culture and the arts, he is best known for presenting the flagship BBC Radio 4 arts programme Front Row between 1998 and 2014. He is also a Guardian columnist, and presents Mark Lawson Talks To… on BBC Four.

Malcolm Rifkind


Sir Malcolm Rifkind served in the Governments of Margaret Thatcher and John Major for an uninterrupted 18 years. He held four Cabinet posts including Minister of Defence and Foreign Secretary. From 2010-15 he was Chairman of the Intelligence and Security Committee which has oversight of MI6,MI5 and GCHQ. He is, currently, a Visiting Professor at the Dept of War Studies of King’s College and lectures, occasionally, at the LSE and other Universities.

A.N. Wilson


A.N. Wilson’s most recent books are The King and the Christmas Tree (about the King of Norway resisting Nazi invasion) and The Mystery of Charles Dickens. He is the author of over 20 novels many of which have won prizes.

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