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Ferdinand Mount was born in 1939. For many years he was a columnist at the Spectator and then the Daily Telegraph and The Sunday Times. In between, he was head of the Downing Street Policy Unit and then editor of the Times Literary Supplement. He is now a prize-winning novelist, author of the bestselling memoir Cold Cream, and most recently the controversial The New Few. He lives in London.
The Tears of the Rajas is a sweeping, epic history of the British in India, seen through the experiences of a single family, the Lows, ancestors of the author, Ferdinand Mount, and also of Prime Minister David Cameron. When he was growing up, Ferdinand Mount used to wonder what stories the various Indian artefacts his family possessed from the days of the British rule of India could tell. Many years before his Aunt Ursie had written a family history of the Lows of India which was largely ignored by the family. When the story of the Lows recently hit the headlines after it transpired that these same relatives were those of David Cameron, and that they were responsible for a number of atrocities in India, Ferdinand Mount set out to uncover the truth behind their lives. What emerged was an evocative, intense and thrilling history of 19th century British rule in India. Vividly and poignantly capturing the lives of one family, Mount tells the story of some of the most dramatic and terrible moments of the Indian Raj, from the mutinies, battles, massacres and famines, to the ineptitude, folly and sometimes deviousness of British rulers themselves. An epic history, full of stories of love, war, treachery and intrigue, Tears of the Rajas will surely become one of the classics of its kind.
We should have awakened to the sun streaming in from across the valley, but this is not a story about things as they should be, and it was a dark blustery morning, blasting the blossom off the may. Only in the shelter of the high hedgerows down in the lanes streaked with red mud was there ant escape from the wind and the rain. Just as we were putting on our boots, I pinned down the unidentified fear of the night before. I had slept without my asthma pillow. It was not the first time . But this was the first time I had slept without it and not properly noticed until the morning after. This must, I though, be love. Would it be punished to?
How does Jeremiah Mount, the dealer in pornography, come to be the lover of the Duchess of Albemarle and the colleague of the great Samuel Pepys? In Pepys' Diary, Jem Mount plays a shadowy role, but in Jem's own memories Sam looms large. Friends and drinking partners at first, they become vicious rivals for fame and women. In his struggle to survive and triumph over his adversary in a rackety world, Jemm stumbles into many trades: chemist, butler, soldier, secretary and, now and then, lover.This 'newly discovered autobiography' - with its disconcerting echoes of our own time - takes its dubious hero from the shaky days of Cromwellian England, through the unbuttoned license of the Restoration, to the panic of Monmouth's Rebellion and the Jamaica sugar boom.
British politician and writer, Ferdinand Mount, challenges contemporary beliefs about society and family-including the history of divorce, childcare, and the concept of the nuclear family. In Subversive Family, politician and writer Ferdinand Mount argues that society is shaped by a series of powerful revolutionary movements, the leaders of which, whether they be political ideologues, theologians, feudal lords, or feminist writers, have done their utmost to render the family a subordinate instrument of their purpose but that, in spite of it all, the family endures. Mount maintains that many widely held contemporary beliefs about the family are based on a willful misreading of the evidence: among the myths are that arranged marriages were the norm until this century; that child care is a modern innovation; that in earlier societies children were treated as expendable objects; that the nuclear family is not a 20th-century invention; and that romantic love never existed before the troubador poets glorified adultery. Divorce, he contends, is no great novelty either, he shows that in many times and places it has been almost as easy to obtain as it is today. Far from diminishing the general desire and respect for family life, Mount contends that the provision for divorce has been popularly regarded as an integral part of any sensible system of family law. This study should jolt the reader into a re-assessment of one of the most familiar and ancient institutions, and encourage greater consideration for policies today that support the family.
Tony and Josie are a golden couple. Under the gaze of Josie's father, the city's most fearsome liquidator, they appear protected from all misfortune, until it appears that their wealth is far from a blessing. It leads to an insidious corruption and savage retribution that will last for 100 years.
George Gordon, cousin to Byron, heir to a desolate Scottish estate, superficially enjoys a brilliant career: he dines at Malmaison with Napoleon and Josephine, excavates the Acropolis, shares a night in a hayloft with Metternich, inherits the Earldom of Aberdeen, marries two beautiful women, becomes Foreign Secretary twice and then ultimately Prime Minister. Yet Lord Aberdeen remains an awkward, tragic figure, increasingly at odds with his times, shattered by repeated bereavements, loathed, abused and eventually driven out of office by his fellow countrymen for his doomed efforts to prevent the Crimean War.