From 1927 to 1934 Dirk Bogarde lived in a remote cottage in the Sussex Downs with his sister, Elizabeth, and their devoted but strict nanny, Lally. This was a time of the gleaning at the end of the summer, of harvests and harvest mice, of oil lamps, of wells, and of incredible childhood adventures.
Seen through the eyes of an innocent, shrewd young boy, Great Meadow recaptures an idyllic childhood, a time of love and gentleness, with its sounds and scents intact, while the world beyond prepared for war. This is the sequel to the first volume of Dirk Bogarde’s autobiography, A Postillion Struck by Lightning.
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It's a mistake to think that actors naturally make good narrators; it's a bigger mistake to think that authors will read their own works well. In both cases good narrators are in the minority, and a small one at that. The good news is that Dirk Bogarde, as actor and then author, goes on to make an excellent narrator. Indeed, he is one of the very best narrators I have come across. It has been said that radio has all the best pictures; so do the best audiobooks. Dirk Bogarde's reading of Great Meadow falls into this category, allowing you to effortlessly follow every scene in your mind's eye. As for the book, it is from the perspective of a young Dirk and is 'An Evocation' of the antics of the children as well as those of the adults, often dusted with a soft humour. I can thoroughly reccommend both this volume of Bogarde's autobiography and the author's own reading of it. I have been checking every few weeks for these autobiographies to appear; as you can guess, I will snap them up as soon as they appear.
"Unknowable blissful ..."
If there were one book in the world - for me it would this, a delight to read and brought to life by the author reading it. Dirk van den Bogarde delivers his young life to us in the wonderful tones of a child - aged 70 - and perfectly recreates the years between the wars when life was uncomplicated by today's cacophonous, media driven, self absorbed lunacy.
Most of the story happens near the Sussex coast where his actress mother and journalist father 'park' the kids ( brother & sister ) with Lally the nanny and describes the simple - sometimes fractious - adventures they shared.
Cannot recommend this enough.
I thoroughly enjoyed this - a wonderful evocation of a pre-war childhood, beautifully read and full of perfect details. Highly recommended!
"The Past Made Real"
Full of wonderful descriptions it fascinated to the end and has to be studied again and again for fullest appreciation. Dirk Bogarde's reading is brilliant, bringing characters to life in an unprecedented way.
A really lovely nostalgic listen. Very enjoyable. Well read by the author. Looking forward to other books in the series.
Totally delightful memoirs of childhood beautifully narrated by the author. Sad to have reached the end of this book but also looking forward to moving on to the next title from Mr Bogarde. I can't recommend this highly enough.
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