A Much Married Man
  • A Much Married Man
  • A Much Married Man

A Much Married Man

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by Nicholas Coleridge

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From one of the sharpest observers of the modern scene comes this witty, intelligent, and irresistible novel in the tradition of Gosford Park and Snobs.

Anthony Anscombe has everything he could ever want: an exquisite family estate, enviable social standing, and a desirable inheritance. But Anthony still has an aching

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From one of the sharpest observers of the modern scene comes this witty, intelligent, and irresistible novel in the tradition of Gosford Park and Snobs.

Anthony Anscombe has everything he could ever want: an exquisite family estate, enviable social standing, and a desirable inheritance. But Anthony still has an aching desire for one thing: the perfect match. Running headlong into marriage is Anthony's forte . . . and his greatest weakness. As he surveys his beautiful house in the English countryside, Anthony has the distinct feeling that he's under siege. He may be surrounded by his sprawling estate, but lurking in the village are more than one or two reminders of his complicated past, including three ex-wives, a mistress, and a legion of children and stepchildren, all dependent on him and all determined to do whatever it takes to get what they want.

A Much Married Man is a wickedly funny social satire with characters that will stay with readers long after the final page. Like a modern-day Edith Wharton or Anthony Trollope, Nicholas Coleridge delivers a sensational glimpse inside the salacious world of the upper classes.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Britain's moneyed upper crust comes in for a slapstick razzing in this class-skewering 10th book (after novels Godchildrenand Streetsmart) by Condé Nast U.K. managing director Coleridge. The titular much-married man is Anthony Anscombe, the thoroughly decent but naïvely innocent scion of a private English merchant bank family, who also happens to be a country squire responsible for the well-being of a picturesque village and 2,000 acres of "magical" land to which his family has held title for 370 years. The eccentric locals love Anthony, and Anthony loves haplessly: over four decades, he marries three unsuitable women, sires five children and shepherds five stepchildren through turbulent upbringings. Aside from his bank duties, which provide ample fodder for Coleridge's wry satire, Anthony is called upon to undertake a load of unpleasant chores, such as confronting his philandering father-in-law at the latter's "floating lovenest" and defending his rapist stepson, Morad. Throughout, Anthony remains the epitome of a gentleman, unfailingly patient with the demanding women in his life (the first a diva waif, the second a priggish homebody and the third a monstrous money-grubber). This well-informed comedy of stiff-upper-lip manners reads, charmingly, as if sprung from a writerly union between Iris Murdoch at the high end and Harold Robbins at the low. (June)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
Library Journal

Coleridge's background as former editor of Harpers & Queen(now Harper's Bazaar), founding chair of Fashion Rocks (the rock and fashion extravaganza for The Princes' Trust), and managing director of Condé Nast U.K. serves him well in this aptly titled and leisurely paced novel of upper-class British society. Anthony Anscombe, scion of a London banking family and heir to Winchford Priory and the village it dominates, might seem a cad to those who know him only through the gossip columns. Instead, he is a kind, unassuming man, "genetically predisposed to be forever polite," who slowly gets sucked into a maelstrom created by his several wives, their offspring, and other hangers-on. Married in his teens (the year is 1965) to flighty Amanda just days after chasing her down in France, he begins his first "death-defying rollercoaster ride" and fathers (or so he thinks for most of his life) his first child. Other wives, a mistress, and numerous children follow, leading to a kaleidoscope of engaging complications. Finely detailed, psychologically astute, and boasting a beautifully rendered cast of characters, this magnificent novel offers an intriguing insider's view of the lives of the gentry. Highly recommended for all public libraries.
—Ron Terpening

Kirkus Reviews
The latest from Coleridge (Streetsmart, 2001, etc.), Conde Nast U.K.'s editorial director, is a witty, nimbly plotted upper-crust soap opera, but one that favors glamour over substance. 1965: Eighteen-year-old Anthony, heir to a banking fortune, meets kohl-eyed and sultry teen adventuress Amanda at a party and is so smitten that he trails her to France, wrests her from a rival and marries her in Nice. Two years later, Amanda abandons Anthony and an infant daughter. He reluctantly divorces her and plights his troth to the child's salt-of-the-earth nanny. A decade and two children later, that marriage implodes when Anthony sires another daughter by his acupuncturist. Soon he weds Dita, a chilly social climber. Thanks to the bank's expansion into Asia, Anthony's fortune grows, despite Dita's squandering enormous sums on household opulence and the social whirl, and by 1995 Anthony is living comfortably at his family's ancestral seat in Oxfordshire, surrounded by the detritus of his messy romantic life: five children, five stepchildren, a wife, three former wives or consorts. There comes, inevitably, a disastrous reversal, but everything is put right at the end. Anthony is well-meaning and likable, but readers may lose patience with his easy self-forgiveness and near-total lack of introspection-nor does it help that the narrator sometimes plays advocate for him. A crowded, buzzing canvas, and the draftsmanship is superb. But it seems less a satiric novel than a flattering court portrait of an aristocrat who's bought and paid for it. First printing of 75,000. Agent: Ed Victor/Ed Victor Ltd.
Graydon Carter
A keen observer of class, manners and sexual frisson, Coleridge is a master of the social romp.
USA Today
[Coleridge] layers his prose with flawless detail, wit and affection for his ever-expanding cast of characters.
Boston Globe
Coleridge skillfully handles a small army of sharply drawn characters. . . . he has a real talent for humor, delivered in a deadpan fashion.
author of Snobs; Academy Award-winning writer of G Julian Fellowes
Nicholas Coleridge makes a witty and acerbic guide to this arcane, and largely secret, world. Unlike many silver fork writers, Coleridge is a well-informed insider and, as such, his humor is only too painfully accurate.
Tina Brown
A Much Married Man is funny, touching and flawless in its detail. Nicholas Coleridge is the best sociologist of British upper class life since Anthony Powell.
author of Class and Player Jilly Cooper
I burned the midnight oil to read A Much Married Man…I loved the book, Nicholas has perfect pitch on class and a miraculous eye on changing society over the past forty years…the whole book is by turns gloriously bitchy, extremely funny and ultimately touching.
Daily Mail (London)
This is a big, pacy, ambitious and thoroughly entertaining book. Coleridge is brilliant on the detail… he inspires the most gloriously waspish turns of phrase.
Glamour UK
Coleridge's wickedly funny novel is guaranteed to amuse. ... a must for the beach this summer.
Sunday Telegraph
This extravagantly enjoyable novel wins credit on so many levels I hardly know where to begin… A Much Married Man is irresistible.
The Spectator
Anyone battled by the conundrum of what to read this summer need look no further than A Much Married Man.
The Observer
[A] long and luscious novel… touching and funny.

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Product Details

St. Martin's Press
Publication date:
Edition description:
First Edition
Product dimensions:
6.12(w) x 9.85(h) x 1.34(d)

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Much Married Man 2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Witty satire
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
Boring, tedious. Didn't care about the characters. Not a believeable story.