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Terribly Intimate Portraits   By: (1899-1973)

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First Page:

TERRIBLY INTIMATE PORTRAITS

COMPILED BY

NOEL COWARD

WITH SIXTEEN REPRODUCTIONS FROM OLD MASTERS BY LORN MACNAUGHTAN

BONI AND LIVERIGHT

PUBLISHERS : NEW YORK

TERRIBLY INTIMATE PORTRAITS

COPYRIGHT, 1922, BY BONI & LIVERIGHT, INC.

Printed in the United States of America

To

GLADYS BARBER

AUTHOR'S NOTE

In view of the fact that I have received many tiresome and even carping letters from the more captious critics of this child of my brain, I feel in justice to myself and Miss Macnaughtan that it is incumbent upon me to protest, in no measured terms, against what is not only an organised opposition and a pusillanimous display of superficial egotism, but a dirty trick.

I have been taunted with my inaccuracies; I have been called a fool; an idiot; an uneducated dolt; and an illiterate cow! This is far from kind, and I resent it.

My concentrated researches prove these memoirs to be absolutely accurate in every historical detail.

I refute utterly these criticisms, fostered by naught but the basest jealousy.

My parents and other relatives consider the book excellent.

NOEL COWARD.

"THE HOLLIES," MARINE CRESCENT, ROME.

FOREWORD

I have endeavoured in writing and compiling this book, to emphasize not only actual deeds and historical facts, but to aspire to an even higher goal to conjure to life for a few brief moments the "Souls" of my subjects, stark in all their deathless beauty. What task could be nobler than to delve in these vivid famous lives and bring to light, perhaps, some hitherto undiscovered motive some delicate and radiant action which so far has escaped the common historian and lain unplucked like a wee wood violet in an old, old garden!

Modern realists would have us believe that romance and beauty are dead, that the spirit of heroic achievement and chivalry has been crushed by the juggernautic wheels of civilisation. Poor blind, sad hearted fools their dreary, unlovely minds have risen like gaunt weeds from the ashes of their wasted opportunities. Romance dead? Never! And in order to disprove their dismal forebodings, I have included in my portrait gallery studies of such national heroes as Snurge, Spout, Puffwater and Plinge. Men selected purposely not merely for the glory of their achievements but for the individual dissimilarity of their fundamental characteristics, and to illustrate to doubting minds the amazing resemblance between the signal courage and romanticism of our forebears, and the innate present day spirit of high endeavour.

Take for example "Madcap Moll," Eighth Duchess of Wapping, and her famous ride to Norwich and compare it with Jabez Puffwater's ride to the succour of his old Aunt Topsy. Or E. Maxwell Snurge's celebrated national appeal in West Forty Second street, and Sarah, Lady Tunnell Penge's dramatic speech from Tower Hill to the turbulent people of London.

All, all are impregnated through and through with the never failing spirit of public heroism, and staunch loyalty to existing standards, and all will stand for beauty, romance, and nobility of purpose until the end of time.

Ring up the curtain. Bring to life the faded tapestries of yesterday side by side with the vivid multi coloured bas reliefs of to day! The frou frou of brocade and lavender adown bygone corridors, and the sharp toned clarion call of Twentieth Century heroism and daring do!

NOEL COWARD

"THE HOLLIES," MARINE CRESCENT, ROME.

CONTENTS

PAGE

FOREWORD

1. MY AMERICAN DIARY

2. JULIE DE POOPINAC

3. MADCAP MOLL, EIGHTH DUCHESS OF WAPPING

4. E. MAXWELL SNURGE, AN INTIMATE STUDY

5. BIANCA DI PIANNO FORTI

6. SARAH, LADY TUNNELL PENGE ("WINSOME SAL")

7. JABEZ PUFFWATER

8. FURSTIN LIEBERWURST ZU SCHWEINEN KALBER

9. JAKE D'ANNUNZIO SPOUT

10. DONNA ISABELLA ANGELA Y BANANAS

11. MAGGIE MACWHISTLE

12. THE EDUCATION OF RUPERT PLINGE

13. ANNA PODD

14... Continue reading book >>




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