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Spilling the Beans [Paperback]

Clarissa Dickson Wright
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (124 customer reviews)
RRP: 8.99
Price: 7.19 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

4 Sep 2008

Clarissa was born into wealth and privilege, as a child, shooting and hunting were the norm and pigeons were flown in from Cairo for supper. Her mother was an Australian heiress, her father was a brilliant surgeon to the Royal family. But he was also a tyrannical and violent drunk who used to beat her and force her to eat carrots with slugs still clinging to them. Clarissa was determined and clever, though, and her ambition led her to a career in the law. At the age of 21, she was the youngest ever woman to be called to the Bar.

Disaster struck when her adored mother died suddenly. It was to lead to a mind-numbing decade of wild over-indulgence. Rich from her inheritance, in the end Clarissa partied away her entire fortune. It was a long, hard road to recovery along which Clarissa finally faced her demons and turned to the one thing that had always brought her joy - cooking. Now at last she has found success, sobriety and peace.

With the stark honesty and the brilliant wit we love her for, Clarissa recounts the tale of a life lived to extremes. A vivid and funny story, it is as moving as it is a cracking good read.

Frequently Bought Together

Spilling the Beans + Rifling Through My Drawers + Two Fat Ladies - Complete Tribute [DVD]
Price For All Three: 27.71

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Product details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton (4 Sep 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0340933895
  • ISBN-13: 978-1444706413
  • Product Dimensions: 19.8 x 12.8 x 2.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (124 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,858 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Clarissa Dickson Wright found fame alongside Jennifer Paterson as one half of the much-loved TV cooking partnership Two Fat Ladies. She is the author of the bestselling memoirs Spilling the Beans and her latest, Rifling Through My Drawers, as well as many cookery books including Clarissa's Comfort Food and the soon to be published Potty - Clarissa's One Pot Cookbook. She is also a passionate supporter of the Countryside Alliance and of rural life and lives a little in London but mostly in Scotland.

Product Description


Packed with hilarious anecdotes, fizzing with energy, throbbing with pain, this has to be the autobiography of the year (Daily Mail)

She packs her story with marvellous anecdotes (Sunday Times)

This is a searing book, but also one with rays of good humour (Country Life)

Extraordinary and occasionally heartbreaking story (Belfast Telegraph)

Fascinating' 'An often funny, shocking and very honest read (Active Life )

Book Description

The number one bestselling, no holds barred autobiography of one of the nations best-loved cookswhose lifehas led her from wealth and privilege to alcoholism, bankruptcy and eventually fame in Two Fat Ladies

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
99 of 104 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Confined to bed; this almost made it worthwhile. 11 Sep 2007
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
What an amazing, moving, autobiography. A strong person who through her relentlesly non-self-pitying honesty gives hope to all of us with our own acknowledged flaws, and allows us to form other perspectives on various ideas about life without thrusting her own views upon us. Thank you, Clarissa. Perhaps you could now turn your hand to writing novels, since it would be unfair to expect another volume of your autobiography just yet. You have left me wanting to read more of your fabulous thoughts, which could surely be given somewhat more of a free rein in a novel, so please think about turning your talents in that direction.

Sadly, I don't suppose you will ever see this. If anyone else does, I cannot recommend this book more strongly; it is both uplifting and inspiring.

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50 of 53 people found the following review helpful
By Mrs. B
I have always loved Clarissa Dickson Wright's TV programs and books. I followed the Two Fat Ladies and Clarissa and the Countryman avidly. When I caught a preview of this book in the Sunday Mail, I preordered it there and then.

It was from the beginning an very matter of fact tale of a person who has led an incredible life of ups and downs and then when it seemed all was lost, turned it around when so many may have just given up.

From being violently abused by her famous father, becomming a barrister just to spite him, to falling into the abyss of alcoholism and then digging herself out again, this story had me enthralled and amazed from the first page to the last.

I recommend it to anyone who is facinated by the human being's ability to survive against the odds.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Alcoholic, Eccentric - how truly English 16 May 2008
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
I have the audio book read by Clarissa and thoroughly enjoyed this candid report of the ups and downs of her life. Born into a privileged family but with the downside of an alcoholic and abusive father, Clarissa details how she initially used her intellect to survive by taking to the bar then abused herself by taking to the bottle. A committed Countrywoman, skilled cook and clever raconteur, she details how her cooking skills helped her survive both the loss of her mother, her career, and the death of a dearly loved friend. I am glad you got off the bottle Clarissa - so you will live that much longer to remind us that we must not let those who are anti everything ruin our enjoyment of simple pleasures like real Country Life - oh and cooking with cream!
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31 of 33 people found the following review helpful
I loved it! Clarissa is so funny and very clever! Sadly, she had been affected by alcoholism brought on by the loss of her mother, that said, her father was an alcoholic so the addictive gene is there!

She has had an eventful life to say the least and although was struck by alcoholism and the truama of what happened to her in her earlier years she is a born survivor and an example to all! You can recover and pick yourself up and even better with the support of friends - she has lots of them.

This book was laugh out loud at points - you could actually hear her speaking as you read. There were of course very poignant times too which affected her deeply.

She was never afraid of hard work and proved that even although she was a barrister, when she hit an all time low she took a job in a country manor as a cook! She had no qualms about doing so either. A lesson to us all!

A fine read and well worth the money - I loved it and recommend it to anyone!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic, well worth reading.. 6 Jan 2009
Absolutely fantastic, I couldnt put this book down once I started reading it. I am amazed by so much life experience and cant beleive one person has been through all this. I cant recommend it highly enough and will pass it onto whoever I can. Clarissa I take my hat off to you and admire you thoroughly.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
By Ramble
Was thoroughly enjoyable and an eye opener. A very well educated and eloquent lady who tells not only her story but gives us all something to think about. Life is not always as it seems and that is something we would all be better off understanding. So many people judge others and if you want to read something inspiring then this is it. Honest and uplifting to think that there is someone who so obviously "bothers" about helping others. all those who havent given 5 stars need to question their intelligence and humanity - such petty comments I thought!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Memoirs of a troubled bon viveur 2 July 2009
I throughly enjoyed Clarissa's memoirs. She is a formidable woman - intelligent, robust, flawed - and utterly human. I am left with an overbearing feeling of respect for her. She is a survivor, but of her own making. There's not even an ounce of self-pity in this book, her joie de vivre shines through even in the darkest of days. It seems as though she has packed a number of lifetimes into hers. Her story is a rich tapestry spanning a rich middle-class upbringing dominated by a brutal father and a wonderful mother, to life as a barrister trail-blazing for women, to the "Fat Lady" cook we all know and love to a countryside crusader. She has crammed so much in. Her book is considered and well written, her command of language, I'm sure, would have made her a frighteningly successful barrister. But above all her style is honest, bravely laying herself bare. However towards the end of the book I felt her pace slowed and it didn't hold my interest as much. It seemed to lumber through her days as a campaigner for the countryside, whereas in other parts of the book the narrative raced and I simply couldn't put it down. That is the only reason I cannot give it 5 stars.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful !!!
This is a must read - stunning, very sad, brilliantly written and very funny. This lady will be sorely missed by her friends. RIP Clarissa !
Published 1 day ago by alliemac
5.0 out of 5 stars Spilling the Beans
This is a definate must read--it is hilarious in places --what an inspiration --I am going to purchase all Clarissa's books in the future
Published 1 day ago by Sandra
3.0 out of 5 stars Nice read
She was very perspective regarding Blair and seemed to have had a very unusual but,in someways,a satisfying one.A women with principles.
Published 1 day ago by Malcolm a Wood
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read
Fabulous story. The wonderful character of Clarissa is constantly revealed throughout the book. It's just a wonderful romp of a life.
Published 4 days ago by KP
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved It
A brilliant,enjoyable and interesting read. A real insight into her private live, achievements and a society most of us view from a distance. What an amazing woman. Read more
Published 8 days ago by sylvia bourne
5.0 out of 5 stars Made me want to wear tweed and eat more butter :)
This was a hugely interesting read. She lived such a fascinating life, very sad in parts but she made the absolute best of her intelligence and she became happy, in no small part... Read more
Published 11 days ago by Sarah Tipper
4.0 out of 5 stars enjoyable read
really liked the book gave a great insight into clarissa's life, and all the people in her life. The upbringing and her relationship with her mother and father, also how her tv... Read more
Published 12 days ago by maggiem
5.0 out of 5 stars Good read
My wife is reading this book, she says it is well written and very interesting book. Good read. Recommended to other readers
Published 12 days ago by Keith Bracken
5.0 out of 5 stars the hidden life of clarissa
its a great read with lots of name dropping along the way. I shall always think of Tony Blair as Miranda now - and what more stories she had but couldn't tell.
Published 14 days ago by liz black
4.0 out of 5 stars A Most Entertaining Book.
A most enjoyable read I would reccomend that anyone who has a drink problem should read this moving and informative book and and learn that this problem can be overcome with... Read more
Published 16 days ago by Peter Annis
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