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The Noel Coward Diaries Paperback – 7 Dec 2000

5.0 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Frequently Bought Together

  • The Noel Coward Diaries
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  • Future Indefinite (Biography and Autobiography)
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  • Present Indicative: The First Autobiography Of Noël Coward: The First Autobiography of Noel Coward (Biography and Autobiography)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 714 pages
  • Publisher: Da Capo Press; New e. edition (7 Dec. 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0306809605
  • ISBN-13: 978-0306809606
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 4.1 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 213,002 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Graham Payn, a lifelong friend of Coward who appeared in many of his most successful plays, now lives at Chalet Coward in Switzerland, from where he runs the Coward estate. Sheridan Morley is the drama critic of the Spectator and the International Herald Tribune and author of the first Coward biography, A Talent to Amuse.


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These diaries are some of the best I've read. Well written, full of pithy observations on people, places and plays, Coward led a very full life, travelling, writing and performing.

Sometimes, he uses a diary entry as personal therapy, where he sums up his current situation in life and what he must do to move things forward.

Coward was a control freak. So often, he would get the production process for a play or musical up and running, go off on holiday, come back for the last days of rehearsal prior to opening, declare the whole thing a ghastly mess and take over. On one occasion he sacked no less an actor than Michael Redgrave and took over the part himself, concluding that no one else could possibly do it.

He is reticent not only about his own private life, but also those of his friends and acquaintances, so if you're expecting any salacious gossip, you will be disappointed. Coward came from a generation where one did not discuss that 'kind of thing'.

Despite his theatrical successes in the 1950s, he consistently got bad reviews which he put down to the critics being jealous of his success. This may be part of the reason, but I do wonder if homophobia had something to do with it.

A hugely enjoyable read.
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If you enjoy diaries as I do, then this book is one for your bookshelf. Highly entertaining; a bit gossipy but sadly nothing too salacious! It was a different world then and this book transports you back in time. A must-buy.
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This is the proof that we do not need more celeb autobiographies from Jordan and her ilk. Found a second hand copy of this collection and it only goes to show that a life has to be lived fully before it is published.
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Underling good read, supreme name dropper and knew everyone in exalted circles of his time, very funny indeed in places.
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Though it does include some details from ""Future İndefinite" it still is a must-read for all Noel Coward friends.Loved it
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