Journals chronicling the last thirty years of Coward's life provide a candid account of his theatrical career on both sides of the Atlantic and a revealing, entertaining portrait of Coward, himself
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Graham Payn, a lifelong friend of Coward who appeared in many of his most successful plays, now lives at Chalet Coward in Switzerland, from where he runs the Coward estate. Sheridan Morley is the drama critic of the Spectator and the International Herald Tribune and author of the first Coward biography, A Talent to Amuse.From Library Journal:
Coward's diaries from 1941 to 1969 offer an intimate look at the last 30 years of the life of the popular, sophisticated British playwright and author. While some of the entries are of the "Stayed out until 4 at Mrs. B___'s party" variety, more of them give insight into Coward's well-connected life. Coward knew or met hundreds of people working in the theater, the movies, and the government, and encounters with Vivien Leigh, Marilyn Monroe, King George IV, Winston Churchill and the Queen Mother, to name just a few, are included here. Excellent footnotes provided by editors Morley and Payn (My Life with Noel Coward) give a one-sentence description of such notables as "Larry" (Laurence Olivier) and "Dickie" (Lord Louis Mountbatten). Coward wrote these diaries with an eye toward publishing and therefore seemed to take great care to write, if not kindly about everyone, then perhaps not as harshly as he could have. Still, there are enough juicy tidbits to satisfy any biography-reading seeker of stars, starlets, and royalty. A thorough index enhances star browsing. For public libraries. J. Sara Paulk, Coastal Plain Reg. Lib., Tifton, GA
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