A Sparrow’s Flight: The Memoirs of Lord Hailsham of St. Marylebone by Quintin Hogg hits the £1 shelf in my shop.
Collins, 1990, Hardback in dust wrapper.
Illustrated by way of: Black & White Photographs;
From the cover: Lord Hailsham is one of Britains best-known and most widely respected public figures. The appearance of his memoirs would, in any circumstances, be a publishing event, but is particularly so when their author is as fascinating and as revealing as he is in this sparkling book.
It is of course as the longest-serving Lord Chancellor of this century, an office he held with immense distinction, that Lord Hailsham is principally known. The book contains his reflections on the nature of that office and on what he achieved during his tenure of it. But before that, and throughout his career, he has played a leading role in both Houses of Parliament, from his election to the House of Commons in the famous Oxford by-election of 1938 through his successive appointments as First Lord of the Admiralty, Minister for Education, Leader of the House of Lords, Minister for Science and Technology, and Chairman of the Conservative Party. On all these, and on his parallel career at the Bar, he reflects with characteristic intelligence. Here for the first time he gives his views on education, on the reasons for the crudity of contemporary youth culture, and on the character and role of the middle classes, from which he is proud to have sprung.
It is, however, as a revelation of the personality of its author that this book differs from any recent politicians memoir. His memory of events and emotions has not been diminished by the passage of time. The formation of his mind by his classical and legal training (the legacies of which are evident on every page), of his character by his wartime experiences in the Army, and of his spiritual beliefs in part through the three great bereavements he has suffered, are presented to the reader with rare intimacy. The qualities he has displayed in his public life are revealed as the inevitable outcome of the private man: elements which in such a diverse and wide-ranging life might have become disparate or contradictory are unified by the integrity of their common source. Despite all the destruction and malevolence of the world, I do not believe in a malevolent deity. I do not believe in an irrational universe. I believe in goodness, truthfulness, loving kindness, beauty, generosity, loyalty. They all exist and are qualities which demand just as much explanation as malevolence, mendaciousness, cruelty, ugliness, meanness, and treachery. The intellectual and moral command, the common sense, the kindness and the sense of humour of which a wide public as well as his colleagues has always been aware, appear in this unflinching book as the true characteristics of its author.
Very Good in Good Dust Wrapper. A little rubbing to the edges of the dust wrapper with a light, vertical, crease running the height of the upper panel. Edges of the text block lightly tanned. Text complete, clean and tight.
Red boards with Gilt titling to the Spine.
463 pages. Index. 9½” x 6¼”.
This book will be listed, sooner or later, for £6.50 on my delightful website… (added to my Biography category.) but get 50% off buying from my blog… below…