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Scenes from a Turbulent Year



256 Pages, 5 x 7.75

Formats: Trade Paper

Trade Paper, $16.95 (US $16.95) (CA $22.95)

Publication Date: September 2022

ISBN 9780857305015

Rights: US & CA

Oldcastle Books Ltd (Sep 2022)
Oldcastle Books

Price: $16.95


1922 was a year of great turbulence and upheaval. Its events reverberated throughout the rest of the twentieth century and still affect us today, 100 years later.

Empires fell. The Ottoman Empire collapsed after more than six centuries. The British Empire had reached its greatest extent but its heyday was over. The Irish Free State was declared and demands for independence in India grew. New nations and new politics came into existence. The Soviet Union was officially created and Mussolini's Italy became the first Fascist state.

In the US, Prohibition was at its height. The Hollywood film industry, although rocked by a series of scandals, continued to grow. A new mass medium - radio - was making its presence felt and, in Britain, the BBC was founded. In literature it was the year of peak modernism. Both T. S. Eliot's The Waste Land and James Joyce's Ulysses were first published in full.

In society, already changed by the trauma of war and pandemic, the morals of the past seemed increasingly outmoded; new ways of behaving were making their appearance. The Roaring Twenties had begun to roar and the Jazz Age had arrived.

1922 also saw the discovery of Tutankhamun's tomb, the arrest of Mahatma Gandhi, the death of Marcel Proust, the election of a new pope, the release of the first major vampire movie, and the brief imprisonment in Munich of an obscure right-wing demagogue named Adolf Hitler.

In a sequence of vividly written sketches, Nick Rennison conjures up all the drama and diversity of an extraordinary year.


"The result is an enjoyable biography of an important year that serves as another reminder of how much history just twelve months can contain." — Foreword

"In this enjoyable slice of popular history, he assembles a month-by-month almanac, including all the most notable moments from science, politics, art and culture. . . . Rennison lingers long enough on each entry to draw out its full resonance." —Guardian

"This is a delightful book, and Rennison’s selection is intelligent and lively. He has an eye for the significant detail and an agreeably dry tone. . . . I hope Rennison has a 1923 book already well in hand and is even now researching a 1924 one. This 1922 book should please those who are well-versed in history, but it will also be a treat for those for whom the past is another country." —Scotsman

"A gloriously Gothic collection of heroes fighting against maidens with bone-white skin, glittering eyes and blood-thirsty intentions." —Lizzie Hayes, Promoting Crime Fiction

Author Biography

Nick Rennison is a writer, editor, and bookseller with a particular interest in the Victorian era and in crime fiction. He is the editor of six anthologies of short stories for No Exit Press, plus A Short History of Polar Exploration, Peter Mark Roget: A Biography, Freud and Psychoanalysis, Robin Hood: Myth, History & Culture and Bohemian London, published by Oldcastle Books. He is a regular reviewer for both The Sunday Times and BBC History Magazine.