A Life of Privilege, Mostly by Gardner Botsford - review by Charles Glass

Charles Glass

A Bargain Odysseus

A Life of Privilege, Mostly


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:

With her first snap, the room erupted in tumult. All around me, men and women were leaping out of her way as they tried to shed their clothes. The tiger lady had them circling the room like cats in a cage, laying a jolting snap behind the laggards at every

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