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Terence Rattigan: The Man and His Work [Paperback]

Michael Darlow
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

30 Jun 2010
'Rattigan's work is a sustained assault on English Middle-Class Values: fear of Emotional Commitment, terror in the face of passion, apprehension about sex. Few dramatists this century have written with more understanding about the human heart.' Michael Billington In his lifetime he was a well known public figure, yet despite his friendships with people such as Noel Coward he always publicly hit his homosexuality. In this extensively revised biography Michael Darlow has, for the first time, been able to describe this important aspect of his life and fully consider it in relation to his work. Plays such as French Without Tears, The Browning Version, Separate Tables and The Winslow Boy are some of the best loved and most memorable plays of the century. Yet even in his lifetime Rattigan was regarded as somehow artistically suspect. Revised to celebrate the centenary of Rattigan's birth, this portrait of a complex and fascinating man unfolds to provide a compelling case for him to be accepted as one of the great dramatists of the last century.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 556 pages
  • Publisher: Quartet Books (30 Jun 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0704371979
  • ISBN-13: 978-0704371972
  • Product Dimensions: 14.9 x 23.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 661,974 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Michael Darlow began his career as an actor on stage and television, and has both acted and directed Rattigan on stage. He has made a number of award winning dramas and documentaries and is a fellow of The Royal Television Society.

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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb Rattigan Biography 20 April 2011
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
If you have an interest in the work of Terence Rattigan or in the development of drama within the twentieth century, this biography is to be highly recommended. I had previously read the Wansell biography, which I found to be well researched and beautifully written and I was inclined to avoid this work by Michael Darlow because I felt the Wansell biography was complete. However, when I finally acquired this biography of Rattigan's life and work, by Michael Darlow, I was immediately captivated by it.

It is written in quite a different style and tone from the Wansell biography and it would be easy to think it not very serious if you skimmed it - sometimes the tone comes close to being that of casual gossip. However, there's a wealth of information about Rattigan, his personal life, relationships with family, friends and lovers, and about his world that you will not find elsewhere. It's a biography written with tremendous sensitivity, insight, and respect, and the plays and their gestation are carefully placed in both a personal and social context that illuminate our understanding of Rattigan and his world. If I liked Rattigan before I read this biography, I loved him after having read it.

Ultimately I came to feel that this was the most authentic work I had read about Rattigan and his times. I cannot recommend it too highly.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 5.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An exemplary biography of a gifted man 19 Mar 2001
By Midwest Book Review - Published on
In Terence Rattigan: The Man And His Work, biographer Michael Darlow presents the personal history of one of the most successful dramatists of his generation. Despite attempts to declare Rattigan's work unfashionable, his plays were performed both on the stage and in the cinema. His prodigious body of work also included film screenplays, as well as scripts for both radio and television. A well known public figure in his lifetime, Rattigan kept his homosexuality private. Terence Rattigan: The Man And His Work is an exemplary biography of a complex, fascinating, influential, and gifted man who is secure in his recognition as one of the great dramatists of the 20th century.
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