‘Be sure you marry a pure-blooded Englishman.’ The memory of this inexplicable command to nine-year-old Diana Quick by her terminally ill grandfather was to remain buried for years.
It wasn’t until she played Julia Flyte to Laurence Olivier’s dying Lord Marchmain in the celebrated Granada TV dramatisation of Brideshead Revisited that it resurfaced, setting her on a quest to uncover the hidden enigma of her father’s family in India.
Gradually, Diana unpeeled the layers of family secrets that revealed changed names, the stigma of being ‘country born’ and her grandfather’s obsessive ambition for his son. This knowledge helped her both to understand her own heritage and to interpret the roles she played on stage and screen. It also gave her pride in her family’s history: the bravery of her great-grandmother who, as a child, narrowly escaped being murdered during the Indian Mutiny; her grandfather’s achievements as a medical officer; her father’s struggles as a penniless student in a foreign country.
©2009 Diana Quick (P)2010 BBC Audiobooks Ltd
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