Although Alan Clark died in 1999, his reputation lives on—a popular TV series was based on his life and his diaries sold more than half a million copies. A noted historian, he was Tory MP for Plymouth Sutton and controversial minister under Mrs. Thatcher. Here his biographer Ion Trewin, drawing on the personal papers from the Clarks' Saltwood Castle home in Kent, tells an enthralling story of the life that Clark himself chose not to discuss: an unhappy childhood with neglectful parents, the fire destroyed his first school, wartime Eton, and his time at Oxford under Hugh Trevor-Roper. His first novel—accepted on the 13th submission—was pulped because of libel, but went on to gain praise. Readers may think they know Clark's political life from his diaries, but Clark himself neglected to tell all. He adored women and courted a schoolgirl he first met when she was 16 and he 30. This was Jane, to whom he remained married—if not faithfully—until his death from a brain tumor in 1999. The extent of his extra-marital escapades is now revealed. Here for the first time the unknown Alan Clark stands revealed.
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Ion Trewin was Alan Clark's editor and publisher until the time of his death and has since edited two further volumes of Alan Clark's Diaries. He is the author of The Hugo Young Papers.Review:
'This is a highly entertaining biography' -- Robert Harris THE SUNDAY TIMES 'this is an engaging book about an absolute bastard' -- Edwina Currie THE TIMES 'wonderfully readable and insightful biography' -- Peter Bradshaw LONDON EVENING STANDARD 'Arrogant, rude, clever, charming, witty. A brilliant diarist, a serious military historian and a frustrated - and ultimately unsuccessful and unfulfilled - politician, Alan Clark was also a warm friend. His story is well worth telling and in this book Trewin has captured the essence of an extraordinary man.' -- Michael Howard DAILY TELEGRAPH 'Trewin's account of Clark's prolonged youth is fresh and illuminating.' -- Craig Brown THE SPECTATOR 'it is Jane who makes one believe that perhaps Alan was not such a 'nasty fool' after all.' -- Charles Moore THE SUNDAY TELEGRAPH 'If Clark's diaries are the best political ones of our time, then Ion Trewin has written a biography of the same high quality. I don't believe it could have been better,more intelligently or more sympathetically, done.' -- Alan Massie THE SCOTSMAN 'pacy narrative' -- Rachel Cooke THE OBSERVER 'Clark's worst enemies could not call him a bore, and this book is as interesting as he was... Trewin has produced a compelling study that is both lively and entertaining' -- Ann Widdecombe THE GUARDIAN 'Jane Clark is the radiant heroine of Trewin's book. It is dedicated to her, the text is peppered with her plucky, frank and disarming comments, and enhanced by several heat-wrenchingly beautiful photographs of her. Trewin is protective of her feelings in a way which does credit to her... Ion Trewin is a distinguished publisher, who brings insight to his account of his hero's success as an author.' -- Richard Davenport-Hines TLS
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