NoĂ«l Coward said, âThe only thing that really saddens me over my demise is that I shall not be here to read the nonsense that will be written about me and my works and my motives . . . There will be lists of apocryphal jokes I never made and gleeful misquotations of words I never said. What a pity I shanât be here to enjoy them!âHere is a book that NoĂ«l Coward did write; jokes he did make . . . No gleeful misquotations here . . . only the best of Cowardâs best.Barry Day, editor of the acclaimed Letters of NoĂ«l Coward, who knows more about Coward and his writing than almost anyone, has brought together in one volume a Coward reader any Coward readerâor Coward appreciatorâwill delight in.Itâs hard to believe that, to date, there has never been a NoĂ«l Coward reader; this volume marks the very first.Here are scenes from Cowardâs plays, The Vortex, Blithe Spirit, Private Lives, and Design for Living . . . from his film screenplays, Brief Encounter and the previously unpublished script for In Which We Serve . . . from his only published novel, Pomp and Circumstance, as well as four of his best short stories.Included, as well, is his verse, in which Coward reveals the âsecret heartâ behind the surface wit of his more formal work . . .And here, too, are the lyrics of his sublimely Coward songs: âMad Dogs and Englishmenâ . . . âThe Stately Homes of Englandâ . . . âIâll See You Againâ . . . âSomeday Iâll Find Youâ . . . âMad About the Boyâ . . . âSail Awayâ . . . âMrs. Worthingtonâ . . . and much more that embodies what Coward hoped would be his epitaph: âHe was much loved, because he made people laugh and cry.âEddie Cantor said NoĂ«l Coward was âthe British George M. Cohan . . . The most brilliant contribution England ever made to American show business.âThe NoĂ«l Coward Reader is a must-have book for those who luxuriated in the collection of his letters; for those who adore his work and those who are just discovering the delights of his writing.Kenneth Tynan said of Coward, âTheatrically speaking, it was Coward who took sophistication out of the refrigerator and put it on the hob . . . Even the youngest of us will know, in fifty yearsâ time, precisely what is meant by âa very NoĂ«l Coward sort of person.â âThose who read The NoĂ«l Coward Reader will agree: this is a very NoĂ«l Coward sort of book.
Literature & Fiction, World Literature, British,