Ancient as the Hills: Diaries, 1973-1974 by James Lees-Milne

Ancient as the Hills: Diaries, 1973-1974 by James Lees-Milne soon to be presented for sale on the astounding BookLovers of Bath web site!

Published: London: John Murray, 1997, Hardback in dust wrapper.

Signed by the author on a Waterstones plate pasted to the half-title page unverified and reflected as such in the lack of premium.

From the cover: Here is a new volume from the diarist whom Alan Clark called his favourite of the century. Following A Mingled Measure it covers the years 1973 and 1974, and is at least as witty and as astringent, as candid and as honest as any of its predecessors. It is also as full of what John Betjeman called strangely rivetting anecdotes. In this book, Betjeman himself refers to his first affair at the age of fifteen, in a punt with the son of a vicar. The ballerina Lydia Lopokova, Keyness widow and now a little old lady with a mauve, mottled face full of character, refuses to allow champagne to be drunk from her shoe. Nancy Mitford jokes about the droll side of her own imminent death (We had screams over the will). In his flat opposite a police station (JL-M had often wondered whether the police were aware of the strange comings and goings thereto and therefrom) James Pope-Hennessy is violently murdered in broad daylight. Clough Williams-Ellis by contrast, ninety-one and dressed in the usual fancy dress of breeches, yellow stockings and strange, folded over blue tie, laments outliving his own buildings.

James Lees-Milnes particular angle of vision, once encountered, is addictive. He mixes, as Anne Scott-James wrote of his previous book Fourteen Friends, kindness of heart with piercing powers of observation. Of that same book Anne Chisholm said that his admirers would enjoy it inordinately for its humour and fundamental acceptance of human frailty. She might equally have been writing of Ancient as the Hills.

Very Good in Very Good Dust Wrapper.

Green boards with Gilt titling to the Spine. [X] 228 pages. Index. 9½” x 6¼”.

Of course, if you don’t like this one, may I sweet-talk you into considering additional gorgeous books that are part of my Biography catalogue?

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