Author Topic: The Perfect Summer by Juliet Nicolson  (Read 2129 times)

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Offline Scott

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The Perfect Summer by Juliet Nicolson
« on: May 04, 2006, 06:31:39 AM »
This is the enchanting and absorbing story of a remarkable season; defining a world on the cusp of irrevocable change. One summer of nearly a hundred years ago saw one of the high sunlit meadows of English history. A new king was crowned; audiences swarmed to Covent Garden to see the Ballet Russes and Nijinsky's gravity-defying leaps. The aristocracy was at play, bounding from house party to the next - the socialite Lady Michelham travelled with her nineteen yards of pearls. Rupert Brooke (a 23-year old poet in love with love, Keats, marrons glaces and truth) swam in the river at Grantchester.  But perfection was over-reaching itself. The rumble of thunder from the summer's storms presaged not only the bloody war years ahead: the country was brought to near standstill by industrial strikes, and unrest exposed the chasm between privileged and poor - as if the heat was torturing those imprisoned in society's straitjacket and stifled by the city smog. Children, seeking relief from the scorching sun, drowned in village ponds.  What the protagonists could not have known is that they were playing out the backdrop to WWI; in a few years time the world, let alone England, would never be the same again. Through the eyes of a series of exceptional individuals - a debutante, a suffragette, a politician, a trade unionist, a butler and the Queen - Juliet Nicolson illuminates a turning point in history. With the gifts of a great storyteller, she rekindles a vision of a time when the sun shone, but its shadows fell on all.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by Scott »

Offline Janet_W.

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Re: The Perfect Summer by Juliet Nicolson
« Reply #1 on: May 05, 2006, 01:38:28 PM »
Scott, sounds interesting. In retrospect the months, days and hours prior to catastrophe often seem to have an aura about them. Days after the shock of 9/11, I ruefully looked back on what friends and I had been doing the evening of 9/10. That we were laughing and having an enjoyable time seemed, in retrospect, so very tragic . . . If only we, or anyone else, had experienced a premonition and then had the ability to stop or at least modify what was to occur in less than 12 hours . . .

Offline Scott

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Re: The Perfect Summer by Juliet Nicolson
« Reply #2 on: May 06, 2006, 12:57:25 AM »
Yes, it does sound a bit interesting. I got an email from Hatchards indicating they had signed first editions available.

Offline historywriter

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Re: The Perfect Summer by Juliet Nicolson
« Reply #3 on: May 07, 2006, 01:09:58 AM »
This sounds like my kind of book!  I felt the same way about life before September 11 for a while too, but I seemed to change my mind a year or so later and realise that there were a lot of problems then too.  I am old enough to remember all those terrorist attacks in the '70's and early '80's.  Although they're not comparable, they were pretty awful.

The Edwardian age is bathed in a golden glow for all of us, I feel, especially the life that the aristocrats lived.  I know that I should be just as interested in the servants and working classes but the aristocracy led such scandalous and/ or exciting lives - I am thinking more of the English here!  Another book that is probably like this one is: Unquiet Souls by Angela Lambert.  It's all about the English aristocracy before the First World War.

I hope that this book comes to Australia soon!  I even adore the title!

Best,

Lisa

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