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  • John Murray

Bringing the House Down

David Profumo

8 Reviews

Rated 0

Biography: general, Prose: non-fiction

The first ever personal account of the family at the heart of the Profumo Affair

David Profumo was just seven when his father, who had been Secretary of State for War, resigned from the Macmillan government. Despite the furore and humiliation that followed, his parents famously stayed together - and now, forty years on, their son has written this long-awaited account of their family life before, during and after the sensational events of 1963.

Drawing on diaries, letters and other memorabilia never before made public, Bringing The House Down describes their background and careers before they met. After an apprenticeship in Hollywood during her teenage years, the beautiful Valerie Hobson went on to star in numerous British films before her stage triumph in 'The King and I'; John Profumo had been the youngest MP during the Second World War, became a Brigadier at the age of thirty, and was rapidly rising through the ranks of the Conservative party. This is the story of their complicated courtship and volatile marriage, the destruction of their glamorous lifestyle and their endurance of the aftermath.

By turns intimate, caustic and poignant, their only child's personal memoir of their three lives together not only puts flesh on the bones of the old family skeleton but also offers a remarkable portrait of a love affair that somehow survived in a world turned upside down.

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Praise for Bringing the House Down

  • '[Profumo] has written an elegantly sorrowful account of his family s great shame' - Peter McKay, Evening Standard

  • Painful to write, moving to read, this beautifully crafted account will not be the final word on the Profumo affair, but shows that, behind its continuing fascination as the arch political scandal lies a long trail of human misery - Independent on Sunday

  • Elegiac and evocative volume Sunday Telegraph / Seven - Sunday Telegraph / Seven

  • It certainly has all the excitement, neurosis and edginess of a book that needed to be written gritty, heartfelt and honest it is a real book, by a real writer, about real people - Mail on Sunday (Book of the Week review by Craig Brown, 5 out of 5 stars)

  • An intimate, perky, donnishly literate memoir... It is a rather infectious read, elegantly written, often funny, sometimes caustic - Times

  • Gentle, touching, wry - Guardian

  • Profumo s book restores a context to a story that has so long had a life of its own. And it offers a measured and affecting insight into what it was like to be a seven-year-old in the eye of the original tabloid storm - Observer

  • A fascinating, gripping tale - Daily Express

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David Profumo

David Profumo was born in London in 1955. He is the author of two novels, Sea Music and The Weather In Iceland. A former teacher, and now a freelance journalist, he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 1997. He lives with his wife and three children in London and Perthshire.

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