Cover image for The new book of snobs
The new book of snobs
Taylor, D. J. (David John), 1960- , author.
Publication Information:
London : Constable, 2016.
Physical Description:
275 pages : illustrations ; 23 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
BJ1535.S7 T39 2016 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



'Hugely enjoyable' AN Wilson, Sunday Times

'Thoughtful, entertaining and enjoyable' Michael Gove, Book of the Week, The Times

Inspired by William Makepeace Thackeray, the first great analyst of snobbery, and his trail-blazing The Book of Snobs (1848), D. J. Taylor brings us a field guide to the modern snob.

Short of calling someone a racist or a paedophile, one of the worst charges you can lay at anybody's door in the early twenty-first century is to suggest that they happen to be a snob. But what constitutes snobbishness? Who are the snobs and where are they to be found? Are you a snob? Am I? What are the distinguishing marks? Snobbery is, in fact, one of the keys to contemporary British life, as vital to the backstreet family on benefits as the proprietor of the grandest stately home, and an essential element of their view of who of they are and what the world might be thought to owe them.

The New Book of Snobs will take a marked interest in language, the vocabulary of snobbery - as exemplified in the 'U' and 'Non U' controversy of the 1950s - being a particular field in which the phenomenon consistently makes its presence felt, and alternate social analysis with sketches of groups and individuals on the Thackerayan principle. Prepare to meet the Political Snob, the City Snob, the Technology Snob, the Property Snob, the Rural Snob, the Literary Snob, the Working-class Snob, the Sporting Snob, the Popular Cultural Snob and the Food Snob.

Author Notes

D.J. Taylor's novels include English Settlement (1996), which won a Grinzane Cavour Prize, Trespass (1998) and Derby Day (2011), both long-listed for the Man Booker Prize, Kept: A Victorian Mystery (2006), a Publishers Weekly book of the year, and The Windsor Faction (2013), joint winner of the Sidewise Award for Alternate History. He has also written several works of non-fiction, including Orwell: The Life , winner of the 2003 Whitbread Prize for Biography and, most recently, The Prose Factory: Literary Life in England Since 1918 (2016). He lives in Norwich with his wife, the novelist Rachel Hore, and their three sons.

Table of Contents

Part 1 Theory and Practice
1 The Snob Definedp. 3
2 Heroes and Villains: Katie Price, Lord Prescott and Othersp. 23
3 The Great Snobographerp. 35
The Snob in Action I: Ralph Strausp. 47
4 Best Setsp. 49
5 Noblesse Obligep. 74
The Snob in Action II: Mrs Thatcher and Her Criticsp. 90
6 The Pockthorpe Factorp. 94
7 Two Snob Portraits: J. L.-M. and 'The Beast'p. 113
The Snob in Action III: W. G. Gracep. 128
8 Snob Lingop. 131
9 'These people ought to be shot': The Future of Snobberyp. 149
The Snob in Action IV: Beau Brummellp. 167
10 In Defence of the Snobp. 171
The Snob in Action V: Tom Dribergp. 178
Part 2 Among the Snobs - Sketches
Some Country Snobsp. 185
Property Snobsp. 189
Film Snobsp. 193
The Progressive Snob: Henrietta Crabbep. 198
The City Snob: Mr de Lislep. 209
Sporting Snobsp. 214
School Snobsp. 220
The Broadhursts and Lucyp. 224
A Little Dinner at the Perownes'p. 239
The Story of Harriet Silverp. 250
A Note on Names and Titlesp. 264
Notes and Further Readingp. 268
Acknowledgementsp. 276