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Cluster index: Andrew Sinclair

Elizabeth Taylor, a Welsh Cleopatra in ‘Under Milk Wood’.

Andrew Sinclair: I put down a costly gold Egyptian serpent bracelet as a peace offering from my pocket. Unfortunately, she was making herself up as Cleopatra, all kohl and rouge and peacock eyelids. “That won’t do,” I heard myself daring to say. “You’re a Welsh sailor’s whore of the ‘fifties. You can’t look like that.”

“I always look like Cleopatra,” she said, and dismissed me.

Excerpt: Putting together the Dry coalition.

Female suffrage was thought to mean more votes for the dry cause and the cause of good government. The ‘superior moral force of women’ would save America from the saloon and from the plutocrats, who were ruling American institutions.

Prohibition: False glamour, lax enforcement.

Andrew Sinclair: The running style in this extended account is that of a newsman, sniffing out the good stories. And there are plenty of them, from that golden age of gossip and occasional retribution. Although there is a great deal of dazzle and detail, there is little new in the causes and consequences of Prohibition – the rural saloon and the rise of women’s rights, the conflict of the country against the city, the attack on foreigners and the surge of nativism, and the economic reasons for Repeal.