The History Man

A most stimulating reflection by David Lodge on Malcolm Bradbury’s 1975 novel, carried in the Guardian. Lodge argues that a novel that was a critique of left-wing radicalism from a liberal humanist perspective was subsequently appropriated and (in Bradbury’s view) misused by the Thatcherite right as evidence of danger in the universities.

Lodge notes the reaction of ‘moralists’ to the sexual content of the novel. I wonder, though, whether there was any wider reaction than this amongst Christian commentators. To what degree (if any) was the novel taken as evidence of secularisation ? It seems to me that it might have on the one hand been mistaken as propaganda for the views of Howard Kirk, but on the other hand been welcomed as a diagnosis of a problem.

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