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Faringdon House in Oxfordshire was the home of Lord Berners, composer, writer, painter, friend of Stravinsky and Gertrude Stein, a man renowned for his eccentricity – masks, practical jokes, a flock of multi-coloured doves – and his homosexuality. Before the war he made Faringdon an aesthete’s paradise, where exquisite food was served to many of the great minds, beauties and wits of the day.
Since the early thirties his companion there was Robert Heber-Percy, twenty-eight years his junior, wildly physical, unscholarly, a hothead who rode naked through the grounds, loved cocktails and nightclubs, and was known to all as the Mad Boy. If the two men made an unlikely couple, at a time when homosexuality was illegal, the addition to the household in 1942 of a pregnant Jennifer Fry, a high society girl known to be ‘fast’, as Robert’s wife was simply astounding.
After Victoria was born the marriage soon foundered (Jennifer later married Alan Ross). Berners died in 1950, leaving Robert in charge of Faringdon, aided by a ferocious Austrian housekeeper who strove to keep the same culinary standards in a more austere age. This was the world Sofka Zinovieff, Victoria’s daughter, a typical child of the sixties, first encountered at the age of seventeen. Eight years later, to her astonishment, Robert told her he was leaving her Faringdon House.
Her book about Faringdon and its people is marvellously witty and full of insight, bringing to life a vanished world and the almost fantastical people who lived in it.
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Physical description; xi, 436 pages : illustrations (some colour) ; 24 cm. Subjects; Berners, Gerald Hugh Tyrwhitt-Wilson Baron 1883-1950 - Relations with men. Berners, Gerald Hugh Tyrwhitt-Wilson Baron 1883-1950 - Homes and haunts - England - Faringdon. Heber-Percy, Robert 1911-1987 - Homes and haunts - England - Faringdon. Zinovieff, Sofka - Family.Review:
"As classy and consuming a memoir as you’re likely to read all autumn." (Caroline Sanderson Bookseller)
"Prepare to be seduced by outlandish delights and strange creatures." (Sebastian Shakespeare Tatler)
"Sumptuous." (Daisy Goodwin Sunday Times)
"A vivid sketch of the extraordinarily glamourous society of Faringdon in its heyday, especially during the 30s." (Dinah Birch Guardian)
"Zinovieff is an entertaining and amiable companion on this, at times, uncomfortable romp through her family saga." (Sara Wheeler The Times)
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Book Description Jonathan Cape, 2014. Hardcover. Condition: Good. Ex library copy with usual stamps/stickers Good condition is defined as: a copy that has been read but remains in clean condition. All of the pages are intact and the cover is intact and the spine may show signs of wear. The book may have minor markings which are not specifically mentioned. Most items will be dispatched the same or the next working day. Seller Inventory # wbb0015673297
Book Description Jonathan Cape, 2014. Hardcover. Condition: Very Good. Very Good: a copy that has been read, but is in excellent condition. Pages are intact and not marred by notes or highlighting. The spine remains undamaged. Most items will be dispatched the same or the next working day. Seller Inventory # wbb0014732272
Book Description Condition: Good. Ships from the UK. Former Library book. Shows some signs of wear, and may have some markings on the inside. Seller Inventory # GRP84203467
Book Description Jonathan Cape, 2014. Hardcover. Condition: Very Good. Hardback with dustjacket. No damage, internally clean. Very good condition. Seller Inventory # L15A51033
Book Description Jonathan Cape, 2017. Hardcover. Condition: Very Good. Dust Jacket Condition: Very Good. 1st Edition. Smaller 4to. Approximately 9 1/2" x 7 1/4"/. Black paper covered boards with bright silver spine Printing. (2014). 436p. Color illustrated eps. Contents printed on coated stock. Color and black and white illustrations throughout. Covers and contents VG, near new. Unclipped jacket VG under removable, protective, archival mylar. Further info upon request. Due to size and weight( 3 lbs) and depending on shipping method and or destination, extra postage may be required. A fascinating read ofa true eccentric, Lord Berners.writer, painter, friend of Stravinsky and Gertrude Stein. Red cloth bookmark laid in, as issued. Size: 4to - over 9¾" - 12" tall. Seller Inventory # 4074
Book Description London : Jonathan Cape 2014-01-01, 2014. Hardcover. Condition: Good. No Jacket. Item is in good condition. Some moderate creases and wear. This item may not come with CDs or additional parts including access codes for textbooks. This may not have a dust jacket. Might be an ex-library copy and contain writing/highlighting. Photos are stock pictures and not of the actual item. Seller Inventory # DS-0224096591-3
Book Description Jonathan Cape, 2014. Hardcover. Condition: Very Good. Dust Jacket Condition: Fine. 1st Edition. UK hardback first impression. VG+ with slight spine lean, in fine jacket. HEAVY BOOK - THERE MAY BE SOME EXTRA POSTAGE OUTSIDE THE UK - THANKS. Seller Inventory # ABE-1599148187863
Book Description London: Jonathan Cape, 2014. 1. Aufl. zahlreiche teils farbige Abbildungen, 436 S. Sprache: Deutsch Gewicht in Gramm: 550 Gr.-8°, OPappband mit OSchutzumschlag, Umschlag mit geringen Randläsuren, Besitzvermerk(R.A. Zondergeld) auf Innenseite des vorderen Vorsatzes, ansonsten sehr gut. Seller Inventory # 25019