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Trying to Please: A Memoir

3.91  ·  Rating details ·  11 ratings  ·  3 reviews
John Julius Norwich's life has reflected an appetite for living, enlivened by a sense of personal theater. Trying to Please is an engaging and amusing memoir that describes a glamorous but vanishing world. From the monasteries on Mt. Athos to a camel trek across the Sahara, the book shows how Norwich's passions for history, travel, and music have combined with simpler plea ...more
ebook, 425 pages
Published September 1st 2010 by Axios Press
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May 22, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: memoir
I had become aware of John Julius Norwich as a historian of the Mediterranean world, and I had liked his engaging writing style. So when I realized he'd written a memoir, I decided to read it. The effort was well rewarded, even though the author would be the first to admit that he has done nothing world-shocking.

Born as the only child of Lady Cooper, a society beauty, and Duff Cooper, a prominent politician, John Norwich had a relatively privileged youth. He escaped much of the deprivations of
Celia Montgomery
Sep 19, 2014 rated it liked it
This happens to me a lot: I enjoy about four fifths of a book very much, but then... I wander. John Norwich is a real live Viscount. He is the son of a minor English movie star and a member of Churchill's cabinet. He has spent a lot of time in fabulous places with fabulous people. Yet, somehow, he is not a twit. In fact, he's rather good company. Always modest and usually funny, he recounts the story of his mostly happy very privileged existence with no real purpose except to entertain. It reads ...more
Jul 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Lord Norwich, son of Diana and Duff Cooper, has written a breezy, optimistic, but grounded memoir of his fascinating life. Eton, the Royal Navy, Oxford, the BBC and his many books all receive their due. But it is his pen portraits of his parents, loving yet honest, which really stand out. Not s cheap book but one guaranteed to interest his many fans.
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