A biography and family memoir by turns hilarious and heart-wrenching, Miranda Seymour's Thrumpton Hall is a riveting, frequently shocking, and ultimately unforgettable true story of the devastating consequences of obsessive desire and misplaced love.
"Dear Thrumpton, how I miss you tonight." When twenty-one-year-old George Seymour wrote these words in 1944, the object of his affection was not a young woman but the beautiful country house in Nottinghamshire that he desired above all else. Miranda Seymour would later be raised at Thrumpton Hall—her upbringing far from idyllic, as life revolved around her father's odd capriciousness. The house took priority over everything, even his family—until the day when George Seymour, in his golden years, began dressing in black leather and riding powerful motorbikes around the countryside in the company of surprising friends.
For fans of Downton Abbey—the show’s creator, Julian Fellowes, called it “brilliant, original, and intensely readable”—Thrumpton Hall is a poignant and memorable true story of family.
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Miranda Seymour is the author of many acclaimed and bestselling works of fiction and nonfiction, including biographies of Mary Shelley, Robert Graves, Henry James, and, most recently, the pioneer French racing driver Hellé Nice. She lives in England.Review:
Beautifully written. . . . It’s also the story of her father, and not the least of its accomplishments is that it instantly catapults him into the front rank of impossible and eccentric English parents. . . . Both comic . . . and immensely touching.” (New York Times Book Review)
“Miranda Seymour’s wonderful memoir is a kind of posthumous conversation with her father. The ending is particularly powerful. What a gripping, poignant, dramatic, emotionally searing book she has written.” (Joyce Carol Oates)
“A memoir that reads like a fairy tale gone wrong.” –Joyce Carol Oates, Times Literary Supplement, (named one of the best books of the year) (Times Literary Supplement (London))
“A rich and entertaining account of the upper classes in the early to mid-twentieth century. There are endless family tragedies, trysts and twists. . . . Needless to say, perfect for anyone who’s ever obsessed about a beautiful house in the country.” (Tatler)
“Disarming in its honesty, endlessly surprising and oddly touching.” (Jonathan Mirsky, The Spectator (A Book of the Year))
“A brilliantly crafted true story, In My Father’s House gains depth and complexity from its willingness to explore the ethical dilemma of revealing painful family secrets. There is more to learn about human nature in this short memoir than in many novels two or three times its length.” (Pat Barker, Booker Prize-winning author of The Regeneration Trilogy)
“Few books capture the pain and laughter of upper-class English life as vividly as this one. It is a gem of a memoir, and I wish there were others like it.” (Alexander Waugh, author of Fathers and Sons: The Autobiography of a Family)
“An extremely well-told tale of an unexceptional man. . . . For the reader, it is a treat to catch an author at the height of her descriptive powers, exposing the agony of parental disappointment with honesty, sensitivity, and touches of brilliance.” (The Guardian)
“This is a brilliant, original, and intensely readable book. . . . I cannot recommend it too highly.” (Julian Fellowes, creator of Downton Abbey)
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