3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Touching and funny,
This review is from: Another Self (Paperback)
This is one of the most exquisitely well-written memoirs I have read. I was stimulated to pick it up after finishing Wait For Me! by Deborah Devonshire (Mitford) who refers to "Jim" Lees-Milne several times in her book. Lees-Milne was a close friend of Tom Mitford who died in WW2; that he also was a founding star of the National Trust I was previously ignorant.
The early chapters on his family background are funny but poignant. His father was an emotionally cold martinet, and his mother a fey whimsical creature, dearly loved but hopelessly impractical. Lees-Milne, on leaving Eton with little academic credit, was enrolled on a secretarial course in the absence of any better ideas, but was fortunate in one of his early employers and went on to greater things.
The chapter headed simply "Theo" is vivid and stirring. His anecdotes of life in London during the bombing are simply told in almost a detached way (oh the careless days of youth!) but seem to have even more impact for that.
This is by no means a full memoir; many of the details have to be guessed at, but it is engaging and a plesure to read.