The long awaited and highly revealing diaries of the politician, diplomat, and socialite (married to Lady Diana Cooper)
Duff Cooper was a first-rate witness of just about every significant event from 1914 to 1950. His diary includes some magnificent set pieces - as a young soldier at the end of WWI, as a politician during the General Strike of 1926, as King Edward VIII's friend at the time of the Abdication, and from Paris after the liberation in 1944, when he became British ambassador.
If Duff Cooper's name has dimmed in the 50 years since his death, publication of these diaries will bring him to the fore once again. His family have long resisted publication - indeed Duff Cooper's nephew, the publisher Rupert Hart-Davis, was so shocked by the sexual revelations that he suggested to John Julius Norwich that it might be best for all concerned if they were burnt. Now, superbly edited by John Julius Norwich, whose familial link ensures all kinds of additional information as footnotes, these diaries join the ranks of the great diarists.
fascinating for two things: their testament to an exhilarating century and their witness to a vanished age of power and privilege... What a man. - THE OBSERVER - PAPERBACK OF THE WEEK
Cooper offers a view on some of the political issues which dominated the first half of the 20th century... as well as an insight into his extravagant social life.
This is a fabulous, jaw-dropping read. - SUNDAY TIMES - Robbie Hudson
compelling - DAILY TELEGRAPH
Duff Cooper was as close to the action as anyone during the dramatic events of the mid-20th century. He was also comically priapic, commiting enough sexual indiscretions to fill a dozen diaries. - SUNDAY TELEGRAPH
He discusses serious things intelligently, and casts and glittering and laconic light on a lost world of luxury and highly strung affairs, many of them his own. - SUNDAY TIMES
it's the combination of the public with the personal that makes these diaries riveting. - MAIL ON SUNDAY
John Julius Norwich was born in 1929. He was educated at Upper Canada College, Toronto, at Eton, at the University of Strasbourg and, after a spell of National Service in the Navy, at New College, Oxford, where he took a degree in French and Russian. In 1952 he joined the Foreign Service, where he remained for twelve years, serving at the embassies in Belgrade and Beirut and with the British Delegation to the Disarmament Conference at Geneva. In 1964 he resigned from the service in order to write.