Diaries, 1984-1997

Overview

James Lees-Milne (1908-1997) was a noted expert on the English country house and perhaps the greatest British diarist of the 20th century. Funny, indiscreet, candid, touching, and sharply observed, his journals reveal a fascinating personality and hold up a mirror to historical events large and small. Despite advancing years, James Lees-Milne's descriptions of the people he meets, the houses he visits, and country life on the Duke of Beaufort's Badminton estate are sharper than ever. He continues to enjoy a wide ...

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Diaries, 1984-1997

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Overview

James Lees-Milne (1908-1997) was a noted expert on the English country house and perhaps the greatest British diarist of the 20th century. Funny, indiscreet, candid, touching, and sharply observed, his journals reveal a fascinating personality and hold up a mirror to historical events large and small. Despite advancing years, James Lees-Milne's descriptions of the people he meets, the houses he visits, and country life on the Duke of Beaufort's Badminton estate are sharper than ever. He continues to enjoy a wide variety of experiences and vividly recaptures a weekend at Chatsworth, a monastic retreat, a journey in a helicopter, an encounter with Mick Jagger, and an intimate lunch with the Prince of Wales. As the grand old man of country house conservation, he becomes a media celebrity, but declines a CBE and refuses to be photographed by Lord Snowdon. In old age, he draws close to his formidable wife Alvilde, whose death in 1994 both shatters and liberates him, but he remains emotionally interested in members of his own sex. As always, he is a penetrating commentator on the times. A tour of the Cotswolds makes him ruefully aware of the yuppie trends of the Thatcher era, while he predicts that the victory of New Labour will herald a descent into American-style vulgarity and yob culture.Witty, waspish, poignant, and self-revealing, James Lees-Milnes last diaries contain as much to delight as the first, and confirm his reputation as one of the 20th century's great English diarists.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780719568398
  • Publisher: Murray, John Publishers, Limited
  • Publication date: 7/23/2009
  • Pages: 544
  • Product dimensions: 5.00 (w) x 7.70 (h) x 1.50 (d)

Meet the Author

James Lees-Milne died in 1997. Once Country Houses Secretary of the National Trust, he is now best known for his memoirs and diaries, described by Jeremy Lewis as second to none in their comicality, rueful self-knowledge and feline observations.
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