- Also check our best rated Biography reviews
The Soul of Indiscretion: Tom Driberg, Poet, Philanderer, Legislator and Outlaw - His Life and Indiscretions Paperback – 2 Apr 2001
- Choose from over 13,000 locations across the UK
- Prime members get unlimited deliveries at no additional cost
- Find your preferred location and add it to your address book
- Dispatch to this address when you check out
Frequently bought together
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
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.See all Product description
Customers who bought this item also bought
Showing 1-8 of 10 reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
Apart from this side to Driberg the book covers his political stances on issues of the day - left-wing, liberal who joined the Labour Party reluctantly but would have left it had there been a more communist oriented party at the time. Ironically he lived quite a bourgeois life himself which would seem to have been completely at odds with his political views. His was a mixture of oil and water. His religious views, which meant a lot to him, seemed to have no effect whatsoever on his moral behaviour as he mixed with a lot of gay clergy and took their pronouncements on homosexuality with a nod and a wink. He seemed more concerned about the `frumps and frills' of the ceremonies than any doctrinal issues.
His journalism career is well covered and gives a good insight into the background of how these columnists came about their stories and the limitations under which they worked. Driberg was either liked or loathed in equal measure and his attitude to his long suffering wife is explored in detail. He was a complex man and the book does his life and indiscretions justice. It is well researched, indexed and very readable.
Wheen doesn't shy away from the salacious side of Driberg's private life, in fact The Soul of Indiscretion positively revels in the sleaze, at turns witty, anecdotal, gossipy and bitchy (Wheen describes actress Jane Russell as a `raison-brained fruitcake' for example). One can't help but think the subject would have approved thoroughly.
As an account of one man's foibles, vices and beliefs, and as a social history of the mid twentieth century, this book gets probably my heartiest recommendation yet. Affectionately written without being sycophantic, well-researched without being dry and gossipy without being tawdry, this book is the perfect memorial to Tom Driberg, Lord Bradwell.
Regardless of your political beliefs and however much the authors reviewers say he liked his subject, there is little he could do to get away from the fact that Driberg was a thoroughly dislikeable man in many ways.
His sexual orientation, whilst relevant in view of his time, seemed to take far too prominent a place in the narrative. However I suppose without the homosexual encounters, narrow escapes etc the book would have been a great deal shorter, which might not have been a bad thing.
If some one who likes you writes a book like this wow! Where is the definitive Driberg book?
It isn't his own flawed memoirs, Ive read them, hoped this book would be more objective. It wasnt.
To Summarise, a thoroughly unpleasant malicious man who used and abused many of his acquaintances, friends and lets not ignore his poor wife.
First published in the 1990s it must have rattled some cages then. With some of his protagonists still alive, glad there was probably some restraint due to libel/ legal threat., Time having passed it merely points out what a true bigot a professed smells and bells Christian can be regardless of which side of the doctrinal fence they sit. When they are able to reconcile malice afore thought by going to church in the hope of life eternal, Im glad Im not a Christian.
One final thought,he was a lousy M.P
Hope hes turning in his grave about women Bishops.
Would you like to see more reviews about this item?