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White Cargo: A memoir

4.03  ·  Rating Details  ·  117 Ratings  ·  24 Reviews
Felicity Kendal was brought up in India, touring the country as part of a troupe of actors managed by her father. Aged 17, she came to England for the first time. This book describes that exotic upbringing in India and explains what an unusual effect it has had on the rest of her life.
Paperback, 319 pages
Published October 7th 1999 by Penguin Books Ltd (first published January 1st 1998)
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Feb 07, 2013 Bookguide rated it it was amazing
If I had been hoping for tales of 'The Good Life' ('Good Neighbors' in the USA), Felicity Kendal's most famous role, I would have been disappointed, as that chapter of her life was relegated to the last chapters and skimmed over. It is clear however that she thinks back with great fondness to the series, and it is obvious that all the cast members had great fun making it.

The majority of 'White Cargo', however, concerns Felicity Kendal's childhood, touring around India with her parents' rep compa
Jun 22, 2010 Brenda rated it it was amazing
The autobiography of Felicity Kendal, star of the British comedy series "Good Neighbours," PBS's Mystery! series "Rosemary and Thyme," and numerous stage plays.

Ms. Kendal was born in England then taken to India as a child by her parents. They ran a travelling theatre company and traversed the whole of the country in the last days of the British Raj. (Their lives are the basis for the Merchant/Ivory film "Shakespeare Wallah," my first Netflix rental!)

Felicity herself was brought on stage as a ba
Chris Burke
Jul 10, 2013 Chris Burke rated it it was amazing
A brilliant cameo of Felicity's touring family of actors evoking the India of the 1950's. A book simply gorgeous and rich in its texture but with that seriousness that you knew always lurked behind this face that grows more elegant with each year. Read it and learn but also be prepared for some tears. This is the best kind of biographical material which lifts a small viel on a private person in order to pay tribute to a departed but much loved father.
Yorky Caz
Jun 03, 2010 Yorky Caz rated it it was amazing
This book was brilliant and ticked so many boxes, if you like travel books, if you like autobiographies, if you like a good read, if you thought you had an idea of a person from TV and then discovered there is a whole lot more to them..the list goes on! This is on of my BF books which he only bought due to a crush on Felicity Kendal and he loved it despite not liking travel books so I defy anyone to read this and not enjoy it!!!
Apr 24, 2008 Barbara rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: biography lovers
Felicity Kendal is well-known as "Barbara" on the BBC hit "Good Neighbors" seen in America on PBS. Who knew this diminutive actress has such a delightfully delicious autobiography? She was raised on stage as her family performed Shakespeare all over India! Well written, fascinating and full of delightful facts about the British/Indian cultures. Enjoy!
Steph Robinson
Jan 10, 2014 Steph Robinson rated it it was amazing
Felicity Kendal has written this superbly. I love the way that she recalls her childhood, and adulthood in the form of a story. It makes for an easy read, with the colours, smells and sounds of India leaping from the page. I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Apr 25, 2016 Lisa rated it it was amazing
This is a memoir of Felicity Kendal's past and present. We learn about her complicated life with her father and her family, her life growing up in India and her hard work and struggle to make it in show business! One of my favorite quotes in her book is: "Your voice is your most precious instrument: The SOUND you make can move an audience to laugh or cry. So, put your shoulders back & FILL YOUR BELLY FULL OF AIR" this quote was advice from her father.

I came to love her from the television se
Jun 05, 2008 Lizzie rated it really liked it
Shelves: memoirs, read-in-2008
I mainly know Felicity Kendal, a British actress, through jokes on shows like "The Young Ones". But this book looked interesting, and it was. She grew up in India where her parents had a traveling Shakespeare troupe that performed for schools, maharajahs, and anybody who'd pay them. Her parents went there during the war to perform for the troops and liked it so much they emigrated there. Kendal loved it too and has many memories of the beauty of the place and the kindness and friendliness of the ...more
David Magnenat
Jan 24, 2013 David Magnenat rated it liked it
Honestly, this is a bit sappy, but I'm nuts for Felicity Kendal and have been since I was a young lad just discovering he joys of the fairer sex. Suffice to say that, fantasies aside, Ms. Kendal does have an amazing background. She reminisces about her early career in the context of a one-sided conversation with her dying father while she sits at his bedside. It's all a bit maudlin, but set that aside and enjoy the sensuality of her rearing in India, the rough adventure of the family traveling S ...more
Nov 16, 2010 Amanda rated it liked it
Recommends it for: People who enjoy autobiographies or reading about India
I bought this book from a church stall because I have been a fan of Felicity Kendal since the TV show 'The Good Life', which I loved. Her book tells of her childhood in post-war India, travelling with her parents' theatre troupe, 'Shakespeareana', and her later career in England.

Intertwined with her story are her musings to her father who lies incapacitated in a London nursing home after a stroke. She unpicks her relationship with him, which became very difficult after she 'deserted him' (his wo
Apr 21, 2012 Julie rated it really liked it
Shelves: biography-memoir
Bought this at the Friends of the Library book sale! I am very excited as Felicity Kendal is one of my all time favorite British actresses! She is famous for the TV series "The Good Life" known as "Good Neighbors" over here & the gardening detective series "Rosemary & Thyme".

It was lovely to listen to Felicity's both soothing & melodious voice. You could tell when she was smiling at a sweet or happy memory. Her descriptions of India through a child's rose tinted view were very charmi
Feb 10, 2015 Rachel rated it it was amazing
Honest, fascinating and poignant- an entrancing read.
A.E. Shaw
Jan 21, 2012 A.E. Shaw rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2012

The majority of this is about Felicity Kendal's early life travelling India in her parents' theatre company. It's vivid, fascinating and absorbing. The remainder - her early acting life in London, letters from her family - is just as well-written, but the parts written to her dying father are truly heartbreaking, and, I won't lie, I skimmed through them as I couldn't keep the tears away at every such passage. The biographical parts, though, are unique and brilliant.
Nov 10, 2012 sanaz rated it liked it
I have started an attempt to read biographies. This one had a very interesting setting: an English family traveling through India performing theatre. The writer let you in a very intimate life of this traveling group but she is mum about some aspects of her personal life and goes back and forth on her tales in a way that some times leave you wondering there are some big holes in her narrative.
Jan 02, 2008 Anne rated it really liked it
This was read for my book group, I wasnt sure that I would enjoy it but I really loved it. It's Felicity Kendal's memoir, what a fascinating and interesting family she came from. Very novel-like and well worth a read.
Barbara Leonard
Mar 26, 2011 Barbara Leonard rated it really liked it
If you grew up with The Good Life it is interesting to find out about Felicity Kendal's life story. A very enjoyable read and refelection on relationships that can be more than tricky, however exotic your life.
Jan 21, 2009 Maxine rated it really liked it
This is a fascinating insight into the early life and career of one of Britain's best loved actresses Felicity Kendal. Very readable.
Oct 11, 2013 William rated it really liked it
Interesting story of a young girl in India who traveled throughout the country with her parents theatrical troupe.
Feb 14, 2012 Sharon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thoroughly enjoyable. Good insight into the India of Felicity Kendal's childhood. Recommended.
Oct 03, 2011 Victoria rated it liked it
What an interesting background. A thoroughly enjoyable read.
Mar 17, 2009 Bradley rated it really liked it
Uterly fascinating life
Mar 19, 2013 Amy rated it really liked it
What a fascinating life!
Jan 03, 2008 Sephie rated it liked it
Shelves: travel, auto_biog
Not as innocent as she looks!
Anne Marshall
Sep 01, 2012 Anne Marshall rated it liked it
Shelves: auto-bio
Very interesting
Cathy rated it really liked it
Aug 09, 2016
Elizabeth McGeown
Elizabeth McGeown rated it it was amazing
Aug 02, 2016
Louise Owen
Louise Owen marked it as to-read
Jul 02, 2016
Tai marked it as to-read
Jun 23, 2016
Sarah rated it it was amazing
Jun 08, 2016
Tracie Ogier
Tracie Ogier rated it it was amazing
May 04, 2016
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