Masquerade: The Lives of Noel Coward


Masquerade: The Lives of Noel Coward

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The voice, the dressing-gown, the cigarette in its holder, remain unmistakable. There is rarely a week when one of Private Lives, Hay Fever, and Blithe Spirit is not in production somewhere in the world. Phrases from Noel Coward’s songs – \”Mad About The Boy\”, \”Mad Dogs and Englishman\” – are forever lodged in the public consciousness. He was at one point the most highly paid author in the world. Yet some of his most striking and daring writing remains unfamiliar. As T.S. Eliot said, in 1954, \”there are things you can learn from Noel Coward that you won’t learn from Shakespeare\”.

Coward wrote some fifty plays and nine musicals, as well as revues, screenplays, short stories, poetry, and a novel. He was both composer and lyricist for approximately 675 songs. Louis Mountbatten’s famous tribute argued that, while there were greater comedians, novelists, composers, painters and so on, only \”the master\” had combined fourteen talents in one. So central was he to his age’s theatre that any account of his career is also a history of the British stage. And so daring was Coward’s unorthdoxy in his closest relationships, obliquely reflected throughout his writing, that it must also be a history of sexual liberation in the twentieth century. In Oliver Soden’s sparkling, story-packed new Life, the Master finally gets his due.

Title: Masquerade: The Lives of Noel Coward
Author: Soden, Oliver
ISBN: 9781474612814
Publication date: 16/03/2023
Price: $40.00
Publisher: Orion Publishing Co
Format: Paperback

Additional information

Weight 41 g
Dimensions 234 × 153 mm