Ceaseless Turmoil

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In this penultimate volume, James Lees-Milne is as engaging and readable as ever; his sharpness and wit are undiminished as he forges into his eighties. He discusses architecture with the Prince of Wales and royal mistresses with Princess Michael of Kent. As the grand old man of country house conservation, he becomes a media celebrity, but he declines a C.B.E. and refuses to be photographed by Lord Snowdon. He reads in The Times of the death of the boy who seduced him at Eton, and publishes a novel about a German count who seduces first an English schoolboy, then the boy's mother. Candid, touching, penetrating and often hilariously funny, these diaries chronicle a way of life and a view of the world that are rapidly vanishing.