The only way not to think about money is to have a great deal of it.Edith had a great deal so she knew. She wasn't pretty, though, and I fancy she'd have exchanged some of the money for looks. I've since taken one step further back into American writers with Henry James and The Portrait of A Lady. This is a journey to a time when the American upper class measured themselves against the English upper class. Most odd.
On holiday in a friend's house in France I picked up Canada, which was the first book I'd ever read by Richard Ford. This is a real page-turner, written like a movie, about two kids out on the prairie whose parents decide to rob a bank to pay their debts. This led me to buy Ford's The Sportswriter when I got back. Published in 1986 it's about a middle-aged man derailed by a bereavement. Because he used to be a sports writer Ford is good on athletes:
Years of athletic training teach this: the necessity of relinquishing doubt and ambiguity and self-inquiry in favour of a pleasant, self-championing one-dimensionality which has instant rewards in sports.That reminds me of something I read in Chad Harbach's The Art Of Fielding. Then my sister gave me an Amazon voucher for my birthday and I bought the Charles Moore biography of Margaret Thatcher. I don't know if Craig Brown was pitching it a bit high when he said it might be "the greatest political biography ever" but it's an extraordinary account of times that I remember, genuinely worth reading for the footnotes alone and a salutary reminder of a time before instant feedback. There are plenty of references to whisky and not a single mention of a focus group.