The Letters of Noel Coward

Author(s): Noel Coward

Biography / Memoir

"A uniquely charming and enticing journey through a remarkable life. Coward's own record is made all the more delightful by the wise and helpful interpolations of Barry Day, the soundest authority on the Master that there is." - Stephen Fry. "A far more complex figure than the one we thought we knew. Here you get the truly private Noel" - Sheridan Morley. With virtually all the letters in this volume previously unpublished - this is a revealing new insight into the private life of a legendary figure. Coward's multi-faceted talent as an actor, writer, composer, producer and even as a war-time spy(!), brought him into close contact with the great, the good and the merely ambitious in film, literature and politics.With letters to and from the likes of: George Bernard Shaw, Virginia Woolf, Winston Churchill, Greta Garbo (she wrote asking him to marry her), Marlene Dietriech, Ian Fleming, Graham Greene, Evelyn Waugh, Fred Astaire, Charlie Chaplin, FD Roosevelt, the Queen Mother and many more, the picture that emerges is a series of vivid sketches of Noel Coward's private relationships, and a re-examination of the man himself. Deliciously insightful, witty, perfectly bitchy, wise, loving and often surprisingly moving, this extraordinary collection gives us Coward at his crackling best. This book is a sublime portrait of a unique artist who made an indelible mark on the 20th century, from the Blitz to the Ritz and beyond.


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A major literary event, only a handful of the 500 letters in this volume have been published or reviewed.A rare insight into Noel as a small boy - material that is missing from his own memoirs and also the biographies.Contains letters both to and from some of the most famousnames in 20th century society: Virginia Woolf, Marlene Dietriech, GretaGarbo, Evelyn Waugh, Winston Churchill, The Queen Mother Unlike an autobiography or diary (written to be read by a wide audience) these letters provide personal insight into Coward's relationships.

'This makes a strangely affecting portrait of 20th Century social life' The Independent (November 2007) 'As elegant, erudite and deliciously bitchy as you'd expect. To be kept at the bedside or by the loo and equally suited to both.' Sunday Telegraph, Seven Magazine (December 07) 'A sharp, entertaining, sometimes nasty and as worldly as you would expect. His letters will delight those who enjoy the campery.' John de Falbe in The Sunday Times (December 07) Barry Day has edited this rich collection of his letters with care and flair Day's choices are admirably wide-ranging, the many illustrations often unfamiliar or previously unseen' The Spectator (November 07) 'Barry Day's colllection glitters with claws-out bitchiness, tremendous charm, and creative genius his letters are absolute knockouts' Vanity Fair (December 07)

Barry Day is widely regarded as the leading authority on Coward.He has been an advisor to the Coward estate for over 20 years and isthe only person with unlimited access to the Coward archive.

General Fields

  • : 9780713685787
  • : Methuen Publishing Ltd
  • : Methuen Publishing Ltd
  • : October 2007
  • : 234mm X 156mm X 48mm
  • : United Kingdom
  • : April 2013
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : 150 Photographs
  • : 800
  • : 822.912
  • : Hardback
  • : Noel Coward