11 hours ago
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.