In his lifetime, Evelyn Waugh’s personality and his attitude to the postwar world aroused almost as much controversy as his works did admiration. It is with Evelyn Waugh, the man as she knew, him that Frances Donaldson is principally concerned. His own autobiography covered the first 25 years of his life. The perceptive, affectionate and often vividly illuminating study starts in 1948 and describes their various meetings until his death in 1966. Frances Donaldson describes the writer as family man, friend, host, and country neighbour.
Who has not come to know and love the impeccable Jeeves and the inimitable Bertie? Together with Lord Emsworth, his prize sow the Empress of Blandings, Psmith, and a whole host of redoubtable Wooster aunts, they form a cast of characters, immortalized in print and on screen, whose sharply observed antics are as popular now as when they first appeared in 1919.
"An Appreciative Official Biography of Plum"
No names are dropped for the sake of it. No mad and witty intimacies with the great are vaunted. Few wild parties are attended, despite the eccentric pressures of Frances Donaldson's father, the playwright Frederick Lonsdale, whose personality is one of the book's delights. In her neat and good-tempered way the author brings alive the attitudes and the atmospheres common to the twenties and thirties. Abetted by her father, she passed through the mill of night-clubs into a faulty marriage
Frances Donaldson led a wonderfully multi-faceted life. As the daughter of the playwright Frederick Lonsdale, she grew up in the frivolous world of 1920s cafe society, yet she became a committed socialist. As the wife of Lord Donaldson, who was on the board of both London opera houses and was subsequently Minister for the Arts, she was at the centre of cultural life in Britain.
The Royal Opera House, Covent Garden is home of two of the most famous opera and ballet companies in the world. In this official history, Frances Donaldson discusses Covent Garden's many legendary achievements - Der Rosenkavalier with Lotte Lehmann, the unparalleled partnership of Fonteyn and Nureyev, the recent Otello with Domingo. She follows the attitude of the English to opera and their Opera House, and the crusade for opera to be sung in English.
In March 1912 the postmaster-general accepted the Marconi Company's tender to build the first six stations of a wireless chain to link up the British Empire. The negotiations had been conducted for the Marconi Company by the managing director, Godfrey Isaacs, brother of Sir Rufus Isaacs, the Attorney-General. Immediately it became clear that opposition to the contract would be unexpectedly strong. There was evidence of a gamble in Marconi shares. Rumours began to spread charging Ministers, among them Lloyd George, with corruption in placing the contract and using their position to speculate in Marconi shares.
A biography of one of the London theatre's most important wits and playwrights. Donaldson discusses the life and work of the man who wrote over twenty plays and musicals that were produced in London in the first half of the 20th century.