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Darling monster: the letters of Lady Diana Cooper to her son John Julius Norwich 1939-1952

Darling monster: the letters of Lady Diana Cooper to her son John Julius Norwich 1939-1952

Cooper, Diana, 1892-1986, author; Norwich, John Julius, 1929- editor of compilation

Lady Diana Cooper was an aristocrat, society darling, an actress of stage and early screen. When she married the politician Duff Cooper, they became the golden couple who knew everyone who was anyone; they sat at the very heart of British public life. Here are her letters to her only son, John Julius Norwich, covering the period 1939 to 1952, taking us from the Blitz to post-Liberation Paris, via a Sussex smallholding, the Far East just before Pearl Harbor and a spell with the Free French in Algiers

Hardback, Book. English.
Published London: Chatto & Windus, 2013
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Statement of responsibility: Diana Cooper ; edited by John Julius Norwich
ISBN: 0701187794, 9780701187798
Note: Includes index.
Physical Description: 520 pages, 16 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations (black and white) ; 24 cm
Subject: World War, 1939-1945 Personal narratives, British.; Cooper, Diana, 1892-1986 Family.; Cooper, Diana, 1892-1986 Correspondence.; History.; Norwich, John Julius, 1929- Family.
Uniform Title: Works. Selections

Author note

Lady Diana Cooperwas born on 29 August 1892. She married Alfred Duff Cooper, DSO., who became one of the Second Word War's key politicians. Her startling beauty resulted in her playing the lead in two silent films and then Max Reinhardt'sThe Miracle. In 1944, following the Liberation of Paris, the couple moved into the British Embassy, Paris. They then retired to a house at Chantilly just outside Paris. After Duff's death in 1954 Diana remained there till 1960, when she moved back to London. She died in 1986.

John Julius Norwich, the only son of Diana and Duff Cooper, is the author of histories of Norman Sicily, the Republic of Venice, the Byzantine Empire,the Mediterranean and, most recently,The Popes. He has also written on architecture, music and the history plays of Shakespeare, and has presented some thirty historical documentaries on BBC Television.


"Witty, touching, perceptive and beautifully written... Read at a sitting or keep by your bed -- either way you will be enchanted"
Mail on Sunday||"Cooper's letters have special immediacy and frankness... a lot of gossip, for sure, but also some sublime descriptive writing... And then there is her beadiness, which is worth its weight in silver breakfast trays... Truly blissful"
Observer (New Review)||"She treats her son, last seen in a dimly lit station, as a much missed grown-up to whom she can be exhilaratingly open. She sends him intimate glimpses of the great... the good... and the not-so good. Inescapably posh but rarely judgemental... she is rescued from glibness by her childlike curiosity and humour, and the always innocent eye with which she peeks at the world"
Daily Telegraph||"This book is a rich fruitcake, stuffed with delicious and surprising plums"
Literary Review||"Though always exigent of love, the letters are filled with jokes, sharp observation and relish for the passing moment. This selection of them offers a sparkling portrait of a maternal relationship"
Evening Standard||"Diana Cooper is as vivid in literature and social legend as she was in life. Her letters are frank, witty and humorous"
The Times||"[Diana Cooper is] a terrific letter writer, as this book attests. Tender, absorbing and highly readable, this is a brilliant picture of a vanished world"
The Good Book Guide||"A diary of Diana Cooper's life during the Second World War and afterwards in Paris - absorbing, funny and sharply observed"