The key to evaluating Anthony Blond's memoirs comes in a footnote on page 264. In a list of friends who have died of Aids, he mentions (but does not name) the editor who cleverly assembled E F Schumacher's Small Is Beautiful - published by Blond in the 1960s - 'from papers on the floor of Schumacher's study'. An asterisk directs the eye to a footnote which adds: 'rather like my editor has done with these memoirs'. Aha! This explains the book's wayward chronology, and through the various strands of Blond’s life. In his foreword, written as a d himself (dated January 2020), Blond acknowledges that 'a slapdash attitude to essential detail was one of his more unfortunate traits'.
But no matter how haphazardly assembled, the book is a rivetingly good read. Blond is blessed with the memoirist's happiest advantages: rich and amusing relations, outsider-insider status. unearned income (often squandered), indeterminate sexuality (a predilection for 'girlish boys and boyish girls'), reckless habits, fingers in several pies, and a passion