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Present Indicative: The First Autobiography of Noel Coward (Biography and Autobiography) Paperback – 20 May 2004


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Product details

  • Paperback: 354 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury 3PL; New edition edition (20 May 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0413774139
  • ISBN-13: 978-0413774132
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 1.9 x 20.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 433,865 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

"He is simply a phenomenon, and one that is unlikely to occur ever again in theatre history."--Terence Rattigan

About the Author

Noel Coward made his name as a playwright with The Vortex (1924), in which he also appeared. His numerous other successful plays included Hay Fever, Private Lives, Design for Living, and Blithe Spirit. During the war he wrote screenplays such as Brief Encounter (1944) and This Happy Breed (1942). His volumes of verse, autobiography and letters have all been published to acclaim by Methuen Drama. Coward was knighted in 1970 and died three years later in Jamaica.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Dennis.F.Sheldrake on 19 Oct. 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Good book. But some illustrations listed in contents did not appear to be included.
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0 of 5 people found the following review helpful By mutti on 20 Sept. 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
All about the theatre of old with names you dont know or heard of even. Noel Coward. Vain man beyond belief. mostly about his childhood and getting parts on the stage . I dont know why so much fuss was made of him he is very Pompous even at a very young age .
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 2 reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
A Visit with Noel Coward is Theatrical History 2 Oct. 2006
By disheveledprofessor - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I have read this book several times over the last 30 years. And while I enjoy it from time to time, I must confess that I am surprised that it is being re-released. Is the audience for theatrical history that large?

Coward's early autobiography will appeal to lovers of the theatre. There is naturally a lot of theatrical background and name-dropping, but many of those names, while important names, may be unfamiliar with today's reader [Sir Charles Hawtrey, Madge Titheradge, etc.]. Others of course, still resound today: Gertrude Lawrence, Laurence Olivier, Gielgud.

Coward's wit drips from every page, often self-deprecating, but always discreet [no mention of his homosexuality, etc.], amusing and in good taste. Coward focuses on his professional life, and not his personal life. It doesn't have the insight that Moss Hart's "Act One" has. Since the memoir was written in 1937, naturally a great portion deals with his early life, and the insight to impoverished genteel life in the early part of the century is fascinating.
A Great Read 2 Dec. 2014
By R. de Aquino - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Deliciously witty, delightfully funny, wonderfully informative, the first volume of Noel Coward's autobiography may well be the best memoir ever written by a man of the theatre. It spans Coward's life from birth to 1931, when he was 32, and constitutes a dazzling display of his elegantly dry, ironic sensibility. The book is a precious testimony of British, and partly American, theatrical life from about 1910 to 1930: Coward's early experiences, his growing into a brilliant young actor-singer-playwright, his personal relationships and significant friendships with a galaxy of major stars and entertainers of all kinds, his family life, his trips and hobnobbings with the international jet set, PRESENT INDICATIVE describes it all with gusto. From our perspective, reading it is a source of continual pleasure and, on occasion, one feels nostalgic for a world that is long gone, a world whose glittering lights we can only imagine, peopled by fascinating personalities that have become mythical to us. I got the book as a gift from a friend and have treasured it ever since. My only regret is that Coward never writes about his emotional life, his romantic relationships, and although he had the right to keep his private life private, I cannot but feel that it would have been wonderful to have his thoughts on love, on personal experiences both happy and sad, on a whole sphere of his being in the world that will forever remain obscure, veiled and hidden to his many admirers.
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