Monday, November 23, 2009

book report day - My Three Fathers

Many of my favorite bloggers are fellow unabashed Anglophiles who periodically dip their toes into the heady mythology of upper class life, literature and mores of between the wars Britain. Today's recommendation has all that and spades. For added inducement, Mr. Patten offers a look at big time American WASP life with a bit of Washington/Georgetown politics thrown in for good measure.

If this is your cuppa tea let me suggest "My Three Fathers" by William Patten.

As the title suggests, the book is about his three fathers, but more importantly his mother, Susan Mart Alsop.

Father number 1 was Bill Patten, a minor American diplomat, New England WASP.

Father 2, his stepfather, Joseph Alsop, cousin of the Roosevelt's, long time syndicated political columnist.

Father 3, and unknown by the author until he was 40, his biological father, Duff Cooper, British war hero, Ambassador, legendary Lothario, and husband of Lady Diana Cooper, the most sought after hostess of her day.

Interwoven is his mother, noted Washington hostess, and novelist Susan Mary Alsop, descendant of the Jay family of American jurists, ambassadors, statesmen. Susan Mary had a gift for knowing everyone, and everything, and keeping it all under her hat.

You know the thrill of picking up a book, reading the blurb on the inside front cover, and saying to yourself, if this guy can write, I'll be up all night. This guy can write, I was up all night.

It is a fascinating family memoir, warts and all of his extraordinary family, an insight into post WW II history and strongly recommended.



Kathy said...

I read a recent review of this (in the Washington Post I believe), and it's on my Christmas wish list. Thanks for the review!

~Tessa~Scoffs said...

Am appropriately intrigued. Thank you, Toad. This book is now on my reading list.

Anonymous said...
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Toad said...

Always start at the library.

TWA said...

Im with you KLS, the more I read these wonderful book reviews on peoples blogs the more I wish I could quit my job and take off for a warm beach somewhere, sit back and devour these awesome reads. I'll be right next to you in the poor house, but at least we'll have interesting literature to discuss!

Mrs. Blandings said...

I think you wrote this just for me.

Gail, in northern California said...

At age 37, I discovered the man I thought was my father, wasn't. Can you be both shocked and bewildered?