Hugh Cudlipp, Cecil Harmsworth King and the Glory Days of Fleet Street
A portrait of the great days of journalism through two of its most remarkable characters.
They were 'Cudlipp' and 'Mr King' when they met in 1935. At 21, gregarious, extrovert and irreverent Hugh Cudlipp had many years of journalistic experience: at 34, shy, introspective and solemn Cecil Harmsworth King, haunted by the ghost of Uncle Alfred, Lord Northcliffe, the great press magnate, and bitter towards Uncle Harold, Lord Rothermere of the Daily Mail, was fighting his way up in the family business.
Opposites in most respects, they were complementary in talents and had in common a deep concern for the underdog. Cudlipp, the journalistic genius, and King, the formidable intellect, were to become, in Cudlipp's words, 'the Barnum and Bailey' of Fleet Street. Together, on the foundation of the populist Daily Mirror, they created the biggest publishing empire in the world.
Yet their relationship foundered sensationally in 1968, when - as King tried to topple the Prime Minister - Cudlipp toppled King. Through the story of two extraordinary men, Ruth Dudley Edwards gives us a riveting portrait of Fleet Street in its heyday.
“A hurtling journey, often hillarious and sometimes monstrous, through nespapers, class, politics and sex; not just the double biography of two extraordinary men, but a sideways history of Britain in the fifties and sixties”
“Ruth Dudley Edwards has adorned with anecdotal dazzle a psychological thriller in which intrigue is flecked with madness”
Edward Pearce, Herald
“Newspapermen will remain one of the most outstanding accounts of Fleet Street's golden era and should be indispensable for anyone seeking an understanding of the complex human dynamics which influence the rise and fall of newspaper dynasties”
“A rich, brilliantly readable venture”
“A thoroughly entertaining book”
Michael Davie, Times Literary Supplement