Christopher Hilliard

Christopher Hilliard teaches British history at the University of Sydney. He is working on a book about the Littlehampton letters libel case of the 1920s.

Jolyon Jenkins writes that the director of public prosecutions ‘had a hard time working out exactly what was obscene’ about The Little Red Schoolbook (Letters, 24 March). A publication didn’t have to be about sex to be obscene. As attorney general in the mid-1950s, Reginald Manningham-Buller argued that legislation against ‘horror comics’ was unnecessary because there was no case law ‘restricting...

Whose Candyfloss? Richard Hoggart

Christopher Hilliard, 17 April 2014

Richard Hoggart​ made much in his writings of the scholarship child’s uprootedness and anxiety, but his own dislocation had its limits. Although he went from a primary school in a poor part of Leeds to grammar school and on to university, Hoggart never really made what the novelist Storm Jameson, a generation ahead of him at the University of Leeds, called the ‘journey from the...

Keep the baby safe: Corrupt and Deprave

Stephen Sedley, 10 March 2022

Mervyn Griffith-Jones, who regularly advised the director of public prosecutions on possible obscenity cases, was once asked by a colleague how he decided what advice to give. ‘I don’t know anything...

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The story reveals the extent to which British society in the 1920s clung to certain beliefs about women and language. One of these prejudices, fiercely held, was that a ‘respectable’ woman was incapable...

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