Tuesday, 16 January 2018

The chilling world of British Fascists.

In my latest release, Pocketful of Dreams, the villain Christopher Jolliffe, a Nazi follower who is working to overthrow the British Government and install a Fascist regime at the outbreak of war. 

Part of my job as an author is to show him and his odious political ideals in their true light. To do this my character has not only to do vile things but say words that are both offensive and cruel. 

Writing Christopher and his fellow fascist’s dialogue conversations was a challenge but I did what I always do to get the period details right and consulted primary sources, in this case the quotes and pamphlets written by fascist leaders of the time. 

Today, if you mention British pre-war Fascists people immediately think of Mosley and the Battle of Cable Street or Diana and Unity Mitford both frequent visitors to the Reich and ardent followers of Hitler.

However, while Oswald Mosley is certainly the best known British Fascist he is by no means the only one. In fact, it could be argued that others behind the scene, many of them upright member of society were more extreme and more influential. 

There was a tangle of pre-war organisation such as the The European Society for Christian Resettlement, British Vigil, The Anglo German Fellowship. 

One of the most influential was the Right Club which was headed up by the Right Honourable Captain Ramsey member of parliament for Peebles and South Midlothian. Ramsey was a fervent anti-Semitic who wrote tracts about the World Jewry's plot to take over international financial markets. Another influential Fascist organisation was 

The Link which as well as being anti-Semitic was actively pro-Nazi organisation founded by Admiral Domvile, who kept a photo of Hitler on his desk. 

The most active branch of this organisation was the Northampton branch headed up by Captain George Drummond who held Nazi social events and had a swastika at the bottom of his swimming pool.   

The fascist cause was supported across the social divide from the very top of society with people like Ben Greene active in the British Council for a Christian Settlement in Europe through to Jock Houston and his bully boys working in the working-class areas of East London in the British People’s Party. 

To be honest when I was looking for someone to model my Villain Christopher Jolliffe on I was really spoilt for choice.  However, to portray the visceral hatred of the fascists for Jewish people I also had to read some of their essays and transcriptions of their speeches.  Not a comfortable exercise. However, although the primary aim of historical fiction is to entertain the reader I feel in pursuits of accurate research we shouldn't shy away from including the less savoury aspects of the past. 

About Jean:

A Londoner who worked as a district nurse in East London for over twenty-five years and is now a full-time author.  She has won multiple awards and all her books are set in her native East London.  

Her first series was set in the early 1800s but her most recently four books about nurses Millie and Connie have jumped forward a century and are set at the end of WW2. 

Her latest book, POCKETFUL OF DREAMS, is the first of her East London WW2 series featuring sisters Mattie, Jo and Cathy Brogan and their extended family.

Twitter:  @JeanFullerton_
Pocketful of Dreams by Jean Fullerton. https://goo.gl/23Q35m

It's 1939, and the Brogan family of London's East End are ready to show Hitler what for. But things don't seem so rosy when rationing, evacuation and air-raids start to put this larger-than-life family to the test.
When a mysterious young man arrives at the Brogans' local parish church, he provides just the dazzling distraction they need - and for eldest daughter Mattie, the promise of more than she'd ever wished for. But as the pair fall deeper in love, they are drawn into secret dangers, rife on the very London streets they call home.
As the young couple race to protect the East End as they know it, can their dreams survive the darkening backdrop of war-time...?

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