** The Mad Boy, Lord Berners, My Grandmother and Me by Sofka Zinovieff


I think I’ve had more than my fill of memoirs of rich Brits lately! The Mad Boy, Lord Berners, My Grandmother, and Me: An Aristocratic Family, a High-Society Scandal, and an Extraordinary Legacy is written by the daughter of the baby in the cover photograph, whose father was the gay lover of the man on the left, Lord Berners, owner of a fabulous estate called Faringdon, where the author now lives, as well as the husband of the wistful-looking woman on the right.

The best part of the book is not the salacious menage a trois pictured on the cover, although that is certainly a complicated story, but rather the outlandish lifestyle of said Lord, who filled the estate with rainbow-colored doves (apparently, it’s not too hard, although staff-intensive,  to dip doves in dye), allowed horses inside, held fabulous parties, and even built a folly in the park for his lover. All that would be utterly entertaining if not for the knowledge that it all came from a prodigious inherited fortune, with little productive work exerted by the heirs…

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