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3.5 out of 5 stars
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VINE VOICEon 24 November 2012
The footnotes read like extracts from Debretts, supporting a lot of lunching, motoring and aristocratic hobnobbing.

So why read theses diaries?

They provide an insight into the way of life of blue bloods, who, although these diaries were written in the `70s and early `80s, were still living in `the past'.

I'm sure his entries about being `tucked up' with other boys, or letching after teenage girls would be expunged now, but that aside, these diaries are eloquently written using the kind of language and descriptions we rarely hear these days.

And whilst they also reek of snobbishness, prejudice and contain many acerbic and indiscreet comments about people, politicians, royalty, `new money' and the demise of standards, JLM is a least honest to himself, sharing things in his diary that he would not have with others.
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on 27 August 2014
A man very much of a time and out of time. I am particularly interested in his take on these years in particular. He writes well and with an unfailing honesty about his own shortcomings while also being snobbishly brutal about others. However, a surprising generousity crops up here and there.This is an England that has gone. While that may have been inevitable and even necessary and certainly there was a whole caste of people who were, in their own way, as dreadful as those they looked down upon seemed to them, there is an erudition, a swathe of knowledge and a real love of culture that we are losing.
Fascinating, infuriating and very entertaining.
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on 11 December 2014
I find all Lees-Milnes diaries fascinating, can't put down books. i originally read all the individual books from the library and meant to buy them all eventually then this 3 book abridged collection came out and I bought these instead, this is the middle one, and does not disappoint and has a view additional entries from the original.
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VINE VOICEon 9 February 2010
I agree with this book's earlier reviewer, Mr Ray, that the best quality here is the honesty. JLM is a pretty awful character, it seems to me, but he's quite unflinching when examining his own failures.
There are some great moments... JLM's encounters with royalty (not something he seems to have enjoyed) are always interesting for the glimpse they give into how the royals behave when they are amongst their own, as it were. And there are some fascinating reminders of a world now gone, such as the moment in 1983 when, for the first time, JLM sees somebody speaking into an "oversized portable telephone."
Overall though, the huge number of really quite dull entries about National Trust properties and their gardens, combined with endless footnotes about forgotten aristos make this book hard work, though it does improve towards the end.
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on 24 June 2015
The usual tedious and extraordinarily snobbish, time-wasting nonsense that one expects from this extremely dull little man's diaries.
His life was an endless round of 'keeping up with the Jones's', and maintaining his pathetic need for social superiority. All of the
vices of social man are here graphically displayed, revealing a frothy, soulless, uninspiring underworld of ruthless exclusiveness
and empty arch snobbery.
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on 28 January 2015
Tremendous film. Prompt delivery. Thank you.
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