Charles Glass

A Bargain Odysseus

A Life of Privilege, Mostly

By

Granta Books 272pp £12.99 order from our bookshop

As a young American infantry officer in London awaiting his D-Day orders, Gardner Botsford met ‘an English couple – a civilian accountant, middle-aged and very pleasant, and his middle-aged very pleasant wife – who invited [him] to drop in at their flat in Chelsea that evening after dinner.’ To Botsford’s surprise, the ‘little party’ featured not well-cooked rationed food, but a striking woman. She wore nothing but tiger-skin patches on her stomach and back. And she was striking the many guests with a six-foot leather whip:

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