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The Soul of Indiscretion: Tom Driberg, Poet, Philanderer, Legislator and Outlaw - His Life and Indiscretions Paperback – 2 Apr 2001

4.4 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Fourth Estate (2 April 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1841155756
  • ISBN-13: 978-1841155753
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 3.2 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 276,058 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description


Francis Wheen's comic portrait of one of the 20th century's great characters, Tom Driberg: wit, parliamentarian, serial cottager, alleged communist spy and friend to the Kray brothers. There are few people for whom marriage was so ill-suited yet well attended: at Tom Driberg's were cabinet ministers and mobsters, Betjeman and Waugh, but it was Osbert Lancaster who commemorated the sheeer extraordinairness of the occasion, and with it celebrated the social life of Driberg, and an era of Englishness now passed into history when the Brideshead generation sang the Red Flag.

From the Back Cover

In his obituary The Times described Tom Driberg as 'an unreliable man of undoubted distinction . . . he was the admiration and despair of his friends and acquantances'. But what friends, and what acquantances. And what glorious unreliability. A Brideshead-generation Oxford Socialist, Tom Driberg was also a flamboyant and promiscuous homosexual, an intriguer, gossip, friend to the Sitwells and the Krays (though not on the same evening) and one of the most colourful characters of the London social set.

Living in an era when the establishment looked after its own and the press looked the other way, Tom Driber was able to shatter almost every idea of polite society from its epicentre. His was a glorious indulgent life that included a highly public wedding in 1951 just a few years after he had concluded an extravagant series of affaris with soldiers, sailors and airmen. Driberg had had a good war by his own unique standards. As could be truthfully be siad of the rest of his life.

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