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Remembering the Profumo affair. Remembering Profumo.

March 9, 2016

John Profumo died eleven years ago today.



Ten years ago today, John Profumo died –  which got me thinking about the Profumo Affair again, and about John Profumo himself.

The headlines at the time and the mythology afterwards asserted that the Profumo scandal was about hypocrisy and scandal in high places.  The discovery that the ruling classes were highly libidinous was felt to legitimate a more transparent subsequent sexual revolution.  Poets as diverse as Philip Larkin and Paul Muldoon found in the year 1963 an epoch making moment of sexual fascination and demystification and even as they both satirized the idea of such a sudden transition, they perpetuated it at the same time.

But the most interesting thing about the Profumo affair was perhaps Profumo himself, and the most interesting aspect of John Profumo was the second half of his life.

Having been discredited as a politician, John Profumo abandoned all worldly ambitions and devoted the remainder of…

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