Ceaseless Turmoil: Diaries 1988-1982 by James Lee-Milne - review by Andrew Barrow

Andrew Barrow

Whatever Next?

Ceaseless Turmoil: Diaries 1988-1982

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Where do we now stand on James Lees-Milne? In particular, what do we make of these spooky, posthumously published diaries arriving every other year from beyond the grave? Are they tailing off or getting better and better? And what do they tell us about the dear departed diarist himself? Is he the nicest, sweetest man who ever lived, or a hoity-toity old sour puss?

A combination of both perhaps. Ceaseless Turmoil, his eleventh and penultimate volume, may not be quite as 'unputdownable' as some of the previous ones but contains the same heady mixture of overpowering, suffocating affection for the privileged life and its appurtenances and a distaste or detachment about it all. On

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