Jonathan Keates

Weren’t They Naughty

Loved Ones

By

Sidgwick & Jackson 224pp £12.95 order from our bookshop

The photograph facing page seventy-six of Lady Mosley’s book would not be in the least extraordinary if the caption ‘Derek and Pam at Caxton Hall, 29 December 1936’ were not appended. It is, of course, a still from a Hollywood movie, perfectly lit and posed, with easily identifiable stars. The glowering old boy on the right is C Aubrey Smith as Lord Redesdale: flanking Derek the groom (Claud Rains, natch) is Mary Astor who plays Muv as a vampire-harpy hybrid. Franchot Tone, in the unrewarding role of Tuddemy, looks soulfully into the camera, while Olivia de Haviland as Nancy contemplates the middle distance with the enigmatic air of one who might have landed her catch with a touch more effort. Pam, it goes without saying, is Bette Davis, but who is the Garboesque blonde up left? ‘Promising newcomer’ is hardly the word for Diana Mosley, whose handsomely illustrated pen portraits of her chums remind us that, more than some, she has knocked about and seen a bit.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • Jane Ridley writes on Who’s In, Who’s Out: The Journals of Kenneth Rose, edited by D R Thorpe ,
    • 'Lucian Freud was never short of confidence. In the 1990s he painted a small head of an especially rich individual… ,
    • Robin Simon's review of Lucian Freud, edited by Martin Gayford and David Dawson ,
    • 'Lenin regularly communicated with his agents in Russia by postcard and Stalin sent girlfriends cards depicting ero… ,
    • RT : Could any book publishing people share with me their route into publishing roles for a sixth former I am working wi… ,
    • Donald Rayfield reviews Greetings From the Barricades: Revolutionary Postcards in Imperial Russia by Tobie Maythew ,
    • 'Citadel of the Saxons manages to turn the slim pickings of the surviving evidence into something like a consistent… ,