This was a great read, and gave true insight into one of the worlds most celebrated Garden essayists of the 20th century.
Connors brings to life the Beverley many fans never got to see, as many of his readers only read his Gardening books. Nichols holds to his credit several autobiographies, no less than five mysteries, several political novels, and multiple weekly columns in various American and British newspapers and magazines. Beverley was also a noted composer, and even appeared in film. His good looks and charm allowed him a very versatile carreer.
The novel unravlels fact from fiction, as many readers assumed his novels were all unadulterated fact. The truth is he mixed fiction with many of his books, lending a skewed vision of the author-and one that Connor does a brilliant job straightening out.
Mr. Nichols worked with Connor on this book, and had help from Beverley's life long companion/friend Cyril Butcher. The book outlines his upbringing in a whirlwind society of notable people and places to his fascinating life filled with so many that sometimes the biography reads more like a "Who's Who" of the 20's through the 70's. Beverley was friends or friendly with some of the most noteworthy people of the day, including Beaton, Coward, and Maughm. It is not a scandal biography, rather a warm portrait of an amazingly entertaining man.
The photographs in the book are wonderfully clear, and allow the reader a glimpse of his childhood, adolesence, and later years. Again, he is shown with many celebrities of his time.
There are bits that reveal a sad, depressed Beverley who struggeled with finance-and chapters about the socialite Beverley who never gave up an opportunity to hob nob and make new social alliances. Other parts reveal the very full romantic life of Nichols. All together, a charming portrait of one of Britains most notable men. This book is a must for all Nichols fans!