Monday, 29 April 2013

serious pleasures

What a delight - this marvellous book arrived in the post this morning; I've been anticipating its arrival for weeks. Serious Pleasures: the Life of Stephen Tennant by Philip Hoare documents the life of the brightest of the Bright Young People - a group of young and privileged bohemians who captivated, angered and fascinated the British public during the 20s and 30s. Tennant, a definitive Peter Pan, cultivated a life of glamour and an international circle that included Cecil Beaton and Truman Capote. He is widely considered to be the model for Cedric Hampton in Nancy Mitford's novel Love in a Cold Climate (which I'm reading and enjoying very much at the moment) along with the inspiration for Lord Sebastian Flyte in Evelyn Waugh's magnum opus Brideshead Revisited (one of my all time favourite books, of course). I am quite fixated with interwar Britain as an historical and cultural period, and tales of the Bright Young People particularly fascinate me. In this book, Philip Hoare's extensive research is backed by excerpts from the subject's correspondence, interviews with survivors of the glittering age and striking photos... I cannot wait to dive in.

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