Present Indicative: The First Autobiography of NoŽl Coward

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A&C Black, Oct 10, 2012 - Drama - 352 pages
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"I was photographed naked on a cushion very early in life, an insane, toothless smile slitting my face and pleats of fat overlapping me like an ill-fitting overcoat. Later, at the age of two, I was photographed again. This time in a lace dress, leaning against a garden roller and laughing hysterically. If these photographs can be found they will adorn this book."


Thus begins the life story of one of the most celebrated characters in British theatrical history, in the first of Coward's autobiographies, first published in 1937. Displaying an early dedication to the theatre, Present Indicative hints at the success that would come to Coward as actor, playwright, novelist and performer. Each line is punctuated with his trademark effervescent wit, making this book a comic tour de force in it's own right, as well as a "must read" for anyone with an interest in the British stage.


"He is simply a phenomenon, and one that is unlikely to occur ever again in theatre history" Terence Rattigan

 

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About the author (2012)

NoŽl Coward was born in 1899 in Teddington, Middlesex. He made his name as a playwright with The Vortex (1924), in which he also appeared. His numerous other successful plays included Fallen Angels (1925), Hay Fever (1925), Private Lives (1933), Design for Living (1933) and Blithe Spirit (1941). During the war he wrote screenplays such as Brief Encounter (1944) and In Which We Serve (1942). In the fifties he began a new career as a cabaret entertainer. He published volumes of verse and a novel (Pomp and Circumstance, 1960), two volumes of autobiography and four volumes of short stories: To Step Aside (1939), Star Quality (1951), Pretty Polly Barlow (1964) and Bon Voyage (1967). He was knighted in 1970 and died three years later in Jamaica.

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