Darling Monster: The Letters of Lady Diana Cooper to Her Son John Julius Norwich 1939-1952
'Please, darling monster, write as often as you can. It's so sad waiting for letters that don't come and are not even written. I love my darling boy. Don't treat me so badly again or I'll have your lights and liver when I get home.' 19 November 1939 Lady Diana Cooper was an aristocrat, society darling, an actress of stage and early screen. When she married the politician Duff Cooper, they became the golden couple who knew everyone who was anyone; they sat at the very heart of British public life. Here are her letters to her only son, John Julius Norwich, covering the period 1939 to 1952, taking us from the Blitz to post-Liberation Paris, via a Sussex smallholding, the Far East just before Pearl Harbor and a spell with the Free French in Algiers. As a portrait of a time and some of history's most dramatic and important events, these letters are invaluable. But they also give us a timeless and sometimes unbearably touching portrait of the love between a mother and son, separated by war, oceans - and the constraints of the time they lived in. "I wish, I wish it was all over - Hitler defeated, the lights up again and the guns still". (2 October 1940). "Yesterday was a gallop of spirits and people and sun and fun". (26 September 1948). "I do my best but I'll always be a bum". (12 October 1948).
Society darling, actress, wife of key WW2 politician Duff Cooper . Here are Lady Diana Cooper's sparkling letters to her son John Julius
Lady Diana Cooper was born on 29 August 1892. She married Alfred Duff Cooper, DSO., who became one of the Second Word War's key politicians. Her startling beauty resulted in her playing the lead in two silent films and then Max Reinhardt's The Miracle. In 1944, following the Liberation of Paris, the couple moved into the British Embassy, Paris. They then retired to a house at Chantilly just outside Paris. After Duff's death in 1954 Diana remained there till 1960, when she moved back to London. She died in 1986. John Julius Norwich, the only son of Diana and Duff Cooper, is the author of histories of Norman Sicily, the Republic of Venice, the Byzantine Empire,the Mediterranean and, most recently, The Popes. He has also written on architecture, music and the history plays of Shakespeare, and has presented some thirty historical documentaries on BBC Television.