events archive

‘A State of Denmark’

7:00pm, Tuesday 17 July 2007, If you would like to attend the Book Club, or would like further information, please join the Institute of Ideas and contact Geoff Kidder on 020 7269 9224 or email

Martin Summers introduced A State of Denmark by Derek Raymond.

This book breaks our Book Club rules for only discussing contemporary fiction. Originally published in 1970 and republished this year, it has been argued that A State of Denmark contains a more insightful account of modern Britain than much contemporary fiction. See what you think?

England has become a dictatorship, governed by a sly, ruthless politician called Jobling. All non-whites have been deported, “The English Times” is the only newspaper, and ordinary people live in dread of nightly curfews and secret police. Richard Watt used all his journalistic talents to expose Jobling before he came to power. Now in exile in a farmhouse amid the cruel heat of the Italian countryside, Watt cultivates his vineyards. His remote rural idyll is shattered by the arrival of an emissary from London. Derek Raymond’s skill is to make all too plausible the transition from complacent democracy to dictatorship in a country preoccupied by consumerism and susceptible to media spin.