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ebook / ISBN-13: 9781780227504

Price: £14.99

ON SALE: 20th March 2014

Genre: Biography & True Stories / Diaries, Letters & Journals

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The long awaited and highly revealing diaries of the politician, diplomat, and socialite (married to Lady Diana Cooper)

‘This is a fabulous, jaw-dropping read’ SUNDAY TIMES

‘Duff Cooper was as close to the action as anyone during the dramatic events of the mid-20th century. He was also comically priapic, committing enough sexual indiscretions to fill a dozen diaries’ SUNDAY TELEGRAPH

‘Fascinating for two things: their testament to an exhilarating century and their witness to a vanished age of power and privilege … What a man’ OBSERVER

Duff Cooper was a first-rate witness of just about every significant event from 1914 to 1950. His diary includes some magnificent set pieces – as a young soldier at the end of WWI, as a politician during the General Strike of 1926, as King Edward VIII’s friend at the time of the Abdication, and from Paris after the liberation in 1944, when he became British ambassador.

If Duff Cooper’s name has dimmed in the 50 years since his death, publication of these diaries will bring him to the fore once again. His family have long resisted publication – indeed Duff Cooper’s nephew, the publisher Rupert Hart-Davis, was so shocked by the sexual revelations that he suggested to John Julius Norwich that it might be best for all concerned if they were burnt. Now, superbly edited by John Julius Norwich, who familial link ensures all kinds of additional information as footnotes, these diaries join the ranks.

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Reviews

Fascinating for two things: their testament to an exhilarating century and their witness to a vanished age of power and privilege ... What a man
OBSERVER
This is a fabulous, jaw-dropping read
SUNDAY TIMES
Well-balanced, honest and admirably edited...this is a dazzling self-portrait of a man who lived life to the full, relished it enormously, and gave much joy to others in so doing
SPECTATOR
It's the combination of the public with the personal that makes these diaries riveting
DAILY MAIL
Duff Cooper was as close to the action as anyone during the dramatic events of the mid-20th century. He was also comically priapic, committing enough sexual indiscretions to fill a dozen diaries
SUNDAY TELEGRAPH
He discusses serious things intelligently, and casts and glittering and laconic light on a lost world of luxury and highly strung affairs, many of them his own
SUNDAY TIMES
Who but he could offer an insider's view, not only of the Munich crisis, the general strike and life among the Free French in Algeria, but of Edward VIII in the feverish days before his abdication?
Miranda Seymour, SUNDAY TIMES
His proximity to power, such as his involvement in the abdication crisis as a close friend of Edward VIII's and his resignation as a cabinet minister in protest at Neville Chamberlain's appeasement policy, gives his diaries a certain energy, as does the busy whirl of upper class socialising and philandering that seemed to take up so much of his time
FINANCIAL TIMES
A portrait of an equable, intelligent man, by profession a diplomat and politician, in private a dedicated hedonist, a reckless gambler and bon viveur, with a profound love of literature and an insatiable appetite for beautiful women ... good diaries, candid and courageous
SUNDAY TELEGRAPH
Highly readable ... The pages on the Abdication are riveting
A N Wilson, COUNTRY LIFE
His diaries are a scream, with a cast including Wallis Simpson, Evelyn Waugh and Laurence Olivier. Gorge yourself on his son's finely tuned edition
Sebastian Shakespeare, TATLER
These diaries are a revelation ...riveting ...As a candid record of an extraordinary marriage, this book is gripping
LITERARY REVIEW