10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
A little gem of a book - treat yourself!,
This review is from: Margaret Rutherford: Dreadnought with Good Manners (Paperback)
This was such a delightful read! Friends kindly bought it for me as they knew what a Rutherford fan I was (at the tender age of 43). I devoured it with gusto! It's such a tender, respectful yet immensely thorough biography of the consummate La Rutherford. Personally, I loved all the information about the plays and their reviews. As someone of my age would never have been fortunate enough to have seen this legend on stage, these little nuggets really brought the mores and nuances of these times alive. I could quite clearly see those chins performing and that idiosyncratic way she put tongue in cheek with beautiful comic timing. Similarly, I loved reading other actors' remembrances of working with Ms. Rutherford from their own memoirs and indeed the first-hand accounts that Mr. Merriman was able to include from his interviews with those happily still with us. For a girl who grew up on a diet of Lionel Jeffries, Sir Peter Ustinov, Damaris Hayman, Alastair Sim et al., this was such a treat. An accidental bonus for me was learning so much about her colleagues in the industry. In fact, at one point, I had this book in one hand and iPad in the other, looking up all the other actors and writers mentioned. There was lots of "Oh, HER! Wasn't she stunning!" and "Wow! Yes, now I remember him in such-and-such film." It was a joy to extend my theatrical and cinematic knowledge from this period.
There are so many biographies which read like a shopping list of events, or worse, are written by well-meaning yet desperately mooning devotees. This biography is neither. I felt the subject come alive so vividly that I easily found myself fantasising that I myself was among her inner circle, quaffing her madeira at one of her many house parties or enjoying bacon and eggs with her at an after show bash. Now I can't wait to read Mr. Merriman's biography of Hattie Jacques. I dearly hope he produces more of this ilk as I enjoyed his writing style so much.