Wayland Young, 2nd Baron Kennet  

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Wayland Hilton Young, 2nd Baron Kennet of the Dene (2 August 1923 – 7 May 2009) was a British writer and politician. Young's 1964 work Eros Denied was a groundbreaking manifesto of the sexual revolution.


Young was born to the politician Edward Hilton Young, 1st Baron Kennet, and the sculptor Kathleen Scott, née Bruce, widow of Captain Robert Falcon Scott of the Antarctic. His half-brother was Sir Peter Scott. He was educated at West Downs School, Stowe School and Trinity College, Cambridge. During World War II he served in the Royal Navy (1942–45). He then went on to the Foreign Office (1946–47, 1949–1951). He married Elizabeth Ann Adams in 1948 and had one son, Thoby Young, and five daughters, including the artist Emily Young who was also the muse for Pink Floyd's See Emily Play; and the writers Louisa Young, aka children's author Zizou Corder and Zoe Young.

Wayland Young inherited the title of Baron Kennet in 1960 upon the death of his father. He served in numerous national and international capacities over the years, as Parliamentary Secretary (Junior Minister) in the Ministry of Housing and Local Government. There he worked on Planning and Conservation, and was responsible for setting up the Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution. After the fall of the Wilson Government, he became Chairman of the Council for the Protection of Rural England, of the Advisory Committee on Pollution of the Sea (ACOPS) and other organisations. He became Opposition Spokesman on Foreign Affairs in the House of Lords 1971-74; and was a member of the European Parliament. He was a member of Western European Union, and a NATO Parliamentarian. He was Chief SDP Whip, in the House of Lords 1981-83. He started his career in the Labour Party, then joined the SDP and returned to the Labour Party in the 1990s before leaving in opposition to Tony Blair's foreign policy. He left the House of Lords with most other hereditary peers, not being offered the option of taking a life peerage. Until late in life he remained chairman of the Stonehenge Alliance, and an active member of the Avebury Society and Action for the River Kennet (ARK).


Young published on a wide range of mostly political topics, especially on the politics of Italy, on disarmament and arms control, on the churches of London often collaborating with his wife Elizabeth Young, and on various political scandals, notably the Profumo Affair and the Montesi scandal. His 1964 work Eros Denied was a groundbreaking manifesto of the sexual revolution.


  • The Italian Left, 1949
  • The Deadweight, The Cresset Press, 1952
  • Now or Never, The Cresset Press, 1953
  • Old London Churches (with Elizabeth Young), Faber & Faber, London, 1956
  • The Montesi Scandal: The Story of the Famous Murder That Rocked Modern Italy, Faber & Faber, London, 1957
  • Still Alive Tomorrow, 1958 (reprinted Panther, London, 1960)
  • The Socialist Imagination (with Elizabeth Young), Fabian Society, 1960 (pamphlet)
  • Disarmament: Finnegan's Choice (with Elizabeth Young), Fabian Society, 1961 (pamphlet)
  • Gogol's Wife & Other Stories (translator of work by Tommaso Landolfi; with Raymond Rosenthal, John Longrigg), New Directions, Norfolk, Connecticut, 1963.
  • Strategy for Survival, First steps in nuclear disarmament, Penguin Special, London, 1959
  • The Profumo Affair: Aspects of Conservatism, Penguin, London, 1963
  • Bombs and Votes, Fabian Society, 1964 (pamphlet)
  • Eros Denied: Sex in Western Society, Grove Press, New York, 1964 (other editions are subtitled "Studies in Exclusion")
  • Preservation, 1972
  • The Futures of Europe, 1976
  • The Rebirth of Britain, 1982
  • London's Churches: A Visitor's Companion (with Elizabeth Young), Grafton Books, London 1986, ISBN 0-88162-212-5
  • Northern Lazio: An Unknown Italy (with Elizabeth Young), 1990, ISBN 0-7195-4643-5

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