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The Noel Coward Diaries

4.17  ·  Rating details ·  94 Ratings  ·  12 Reviews
Witty and sophisticated, a brilliant dramatist and a charismatic actor, the multitalented Noel Coward was one of the most colorful personalities who ever strode across the stage.

These diaries chronicle the last 30 years of his life, from his wartime concert tours through his private and professional depression in the 1950s to his triumphant reemergence and knighthood in t
Hardcover, 698 pages
Published December 31st 1982 by Little Brown and Company (first published September 1982)
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Mar 11, 2015 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: BBC Radio Listeners

Description: Extracts read by Simon Cadell reveal the playwright's strong opinions on England and Englishness. With Graham Payne. From April 1996.

The BBC is swamping us with Noël Coward at the moment. These diaries are condensed into three thirty minute episodes.

3* The Diaries
4* Blithe Spirit
5* Private Lives
3* Present Laughter
2* The Vortex
3* Brief Encounter
2* This Happy Breed
CR Nude with Violin
CR Suite in Three Keys

Fiona Compton
Sep 30, 2015 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Anyone interested in the inner workings of the theatre.
Recommended to Fiona by: I found it in a second-hand book shop.
I have been reading The Noel Coward Diaries edited by Graham Payn and Sheridan Morley and am nearly at the end of this large volume of over 650 pages. The diaries extend from 1941 ( before my birth) to 1969 when Noel Coward was about to be knighted.

I found this a fascinating book which gave a clear view into Noel Coward’s busy and successful life. I dare say that he might have had a fair inkling that these diaries would be published after his death, but despite this, he did not pull any punches
Feb 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love this man. And reading these diaries was like living with him and that was so wonderful that I dawdled for ages because I just didn't want to be without him.

This showed me how ruthlessly professional how he was, how inspiring that attitude is. How unfailingly generous he was with his caring, learning so many lessons the hard way. How stern as he was, he never took himself too seriously and was always aware of the absurdity of his profession. It bewilders me that some people found him a di
Mar 11, 2015 rated it liked it
Recommended to Laura by: Bettie
From BBC Radio 4 - 4 Extra Debut:
Extracts read by Simon Cadell reveal the playwright's strong opinions on England and Englishness. With Graham Payne. From April 1996.
Judith Johnson
Sep 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Oh dear, dear Noel! What an enormously enjoyable read your Diaries have been! After reading every word of Samuel Pepys' Diary I decided to carry on with diary readings as a little bedtime dessert item after the main course book, and I have to say, yours has been a lot more fun!!

I have a long list of quotes noted at the back of the book which I treasure, and I will now be digging out my 1980s vinyls of Noel singing and talking about theatre to listen to again after some years on the shelf. I also
Frances Bell
What an arrogant diva he was. I expected something more interesting than a list of who was at what parties. Admittedly there was the odd flash of humour but really - this just showed how insufferable he would have been to spend any time with. As I said - a diva who looked down at his nose at anything not written or performed by himself. Additionally, he had no compassion for those who were truly suffering. He didn't like to see people getting upset - not because he had any sympathy but because h ...more
Sherwood Smith
Gossipy, revealing and concealing by turns, intelligent, bewitching, off-putting, altogether fascinating.

Favorite quote:

"…I wonder how long this trend of dreariness for the sake of dreariness sake will last. Apparently, in the minds of the critics and intelligentsia, significance and importance can only be achieved by concentrating on unhappiness, psychopathic confusion and general dismay. No lightness is permissible. For these misguided souls it is obviously much to be deplored that the great p
Jul 13, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very few selected entries from 1941-45 and everything else from 1945-1969. Fun and interesting commentary on culture and dramatic arts. Coward apparently was actually quite conservative!

Great insight into climate of post-war British culture; lots of good gossip, too. Would not call this diary as entertaining or as valuable as "The Letters of Noel Coward," Barry Day, editor.
Dec 12, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: biography
The Master's life in his own words with compelling and one suspects truthful diaries
Nov 20, 2014 rated it liked it
Delightful to dip into, not something to read right through.
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Sir Noël Peirce Coward was an English actor, playwright and composer of popular music. Among his achievements, he received an Academy Certificate of Merit at the 1943 Academy Awards for "outstanding production achievement for In Which We Serve."
More about Noël Coward

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