A Much Married Man [NOOK Book]

Overview

An Englishman's home is his castle. Or at least it should be. But as Anthony Anscombe surveys Winchford Priory, his beautiful Elizabethan house in Oxfordshire, lurking in the village are more than one or two reminders of a life well-lived. His first wife was the hauntingly beautiful girl he married in an impulsive rush of hedonism. Amanda was never going to live up to her role as the wife of a country squire, so why does she still cast such a long shadow in Anthony's life? Sandra, the second wife, came to ...
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A Much Married Man

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Overview

An Englishman's home is his castle. Or at least it should be. But as Anthony Anscombe surveys Winchford Priory, his beautiful Elizabethan house in Oxfordshire, lurking in the village are more than one or two reminders of a life well-lived. His first wife was the hauntingly beautiful girl he married in an impulsive rush of hedonism. Amanda was never going to live up to her role as the wife of a country squire, so why does she still cast such a long shadow in Anthony's life? Sandra, the second wife, came to Anthony's rescue. Sturdy, dependable and relentlessly practical, Sandra had plans to turn the Priory into a proper family home, until that summer when it all went horribly wrong... And then there's Dita, a force of nature. Effortlessly glamorous and achingly wealthy, Dita storms through Anthony's life, organising and rearranging - particularly when it comes to previous Mrs Anscombes and their children. With the entire cast of his life roosting in the village, it's no wonder Anthony doesn't have a minute's peace.
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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.
From the Publisher
"A keen observer of class, manners and sexual frisson, Coleridge is a master of the social romp.” — Graydon Carter, Editor-in-Chief, Vanity Fair

“[Coleridge] layers his prose with flawless detail, wit and affection for his ever-expanding cast of characters.” —-USA Today

“Coleridge skillfully handles a small army of sharply drawn characters. . . . he has a real talent for humor, delivered in a deadpan fashion.” —-Boston Globe

“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.” –Julian Fellowes, author of Snobs; Academy Award-winning writer of Gosford Park

"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."—Tina Brown

 

"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." —Jilly Cooper, author of Class and Player

 

"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.’ —Daily Mail (London)

 

“Coleridge's wickedly funny novel is guaranteed to amuse. ... a must for the beach this summer.” –Glamour UK

 

 “This extravagantly enjoyable novel wins credit on so many levels I hardly know where to begin… A Much Married Man is irresistible.” –Sunday Telegraph

 

“Anyone battled by the conundrum of what to read this summer need look no further than A Much Married Man.” –The Spectator

 

“[A] long and luscious novel… touching and funny.” The Observer

 

 

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781429915779
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 6/12/2007
  • Sold by: Macmillan
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 464
  • Product dimensions: 6.12 (w) x 9.25 (h) x 1.43 (d)
  • File size: 3 MB

Meet the Author

Nicholas Coleridge is managing director of Conde Nast in Britain, the magazine house that publishes Tatler and House & Garden, among others. He lives in London with his wife and four children.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 2
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 27, 2013

    Really enjoyed this

    Witty satire

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 20, 2008

    A Much too full of himself Man

    Boring, tedious. Didn't care about the characters. Not a believeable story.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 22, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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