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Ferdinand Mount - Author

About the Author

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.

Featured books by Ferdinand Mount

The Tears of the Rajas Mutiny, Money and Marriage in India 1805-1905

The Tears of the Rajas Mutiny, Money and Marriage in India 1805-1905

Author: Ferdinand Mount Format: Hardback Release Date: 12/03/2015

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.

Other books by Ferdinand Mount

Prime Movers

Prime Movers

Author: Ferdinand Mount Format: Hardback Release Date: 01/04/2018

Ferdinand Mount has been fascinated by the great thinkers and politicians who have shaped human history over the past two millennia In this fascinating, and provocative book, he examines the proposals for a political theory from a number of widely different historical figures. Twelve key people, from the great orator and statesman of Ancient Greece (Pericles) to the inspiration of the founding of the state of Pakistan (Muhammad Iqbal) we take a colourful and rip-roaring journey through the historical figures who have both inspired and provoked Mount in equal measure. The lives of men such as Jesus Christ, Rousseau, Adam Smith, Edmund Burke, and Thomas Jefferson are discussed and comparisons are drawn between the various approaches each figure promoted in their works - whether philosophical, or political theories. For those wishing to be guided by Mount's choices and be swept along by his brilliantly erudite prose, this will be a particular enjoyable read. Lots of colour, humour and passion governed all these people careers and Mount brings them to life like no one else can. Praise for the international-bestselling Tears of the Rajas:- 'Mount is a skilled and fluent writer who does his subject justice' --Literary Review 'Mount relates this remarkable story with a gentle wit, a lightness of touch, a boyish enthusiasm as well as a genius for the telling pen-portrait... It is a remarkable story, and cumulatively amounts to an epic panorama of British Indian history much more substantial than the 'collection of Indian tales, a human jungle book', which Mount modestly describes as his aim in the introduction.' --William Dalrymple, The Spectator 'What [Mount] provides instead is of far greater value: a perceptive antidote to nationalistic prejudicial thinking, and an opportunity for a greater understanding of the aftereffects of British imperialism in some of the world's most troubled regions.' Sunday Times 'Although Tears of the Rajas is replete with stirring tales of adventure, it is a deeply humane book. Mount's heart is at all times with the people of India, whose lives are turned upside down by blundering attempts at modernisation.' The Times

English Voices Lives, Landscapes, Laments

English Voices Lives, Landscapes, Laments

Author: Ferdinand Mount Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 23/03/2017

`A sheer delight' Times Literary Supplement Ferdinand Mount has spent many years writing articles, columns and reviews for prestigious magazines, newspapers and journals. Whether reviewing great published works by some of England's finest authors and poets (both alive and dead) including Kingsley Amis, John Osborne, John le Carre, Rudyard Kipling, E.M. Forster and Alan Bennett. He also analysed the works of a variety of our Masters covering the past four hundred years such as, of course, William Shakespeare, Charles Dickens, John Keats, Thomas Hardy, Samuel Taylor Coleridge and Samuel Pepys. Whether it be holding up to account the writings of Winston Churchill, or celebrating the much-loved poems of Siegfried Sassoon, each essay reproduced in full here has been carefully chosen by Mount to weave a unique tapestry of the wealth of writings that have helped shape his own respected career as an author and political commentator. For anyone interested and passionate about writing and poetry across the centuries in the British Isles, this book will be a very welcome guide to the best one can pick up and read.

English Voices Lives, Landscapes, Laments

English Voices Lives, Landscapes, Laments

Author: Ferdinand Mount Format: Hardback Release Date: 01/05/2016

Ferdinand Mount has spent many years writing articles, columns and reviews for prestigious magazines, newspapers and journals. Whether reviewing great published works by some of England's finest authors and poets (both alive and dead) including Kingsley Amis, John Osborne, John le Carre, Rudyard Kipling, E.M. Forster and Alan Bennett. He also analysed the works of a variety of our Masters covering the past four hundred years such as, of course, William Shakespeare, Charles Dickens, John Keats, Thomas Hardy, Samuel Taylor Coleridge and Samuel Pepys. Whether it be holding up to account the writings of Winston Churchill, or celebrating the much-loved poems of Siegfried Sassoon, each essay reproduced in full here has been carefully chosen by Mount to weave a unique tapestry of the wealth of writings that have helped shape his own respected career as an author and political commentator. For anyone interested and passionate about writing and poetry across the centuries in the British Isles, this book will be a very welcome guide to the best one can pick up and read.

The Tears of the Rajas Mutiny, Money and Marriage in India 1805-1905

The Tears of the Rajas Mutiny, Money and Marriage in India 1805-1905

Author: Ferdinand Mount Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 28/01/2016

The Tears of the Rajasis a sweeping history of the British in India, seen through the experiences of a single Scottish family. For a century the Lows of Clatto survived mutiny, siege, debt and disease, everywhere from the heat of Madras to the Afghan snows. They lived through the most appalling atrocities and retaliated with some of their own. Each of their lives, remarkable in itself, contributes to the story of the whole fragile and imperilled, often shockingly oppressive and devious but now and then heroic and poignant enterprise. On the surface, John and Augusta Low and their relations may seem imperturbable, but in their letters and diaries they often reveal their loneliness and desperation and their doubts about what they are doing in India. The Lows are the family of the author's grandmother, and a recurring theme of the book is his own discovery of them and of those parts of the history of the British in India which posterity has preferred to forget. The book brings to life not only the most dramatic incidents of their careers - the massacre at Vellore, the conquest of Java, the deposition of the boy-king of Oudh, the disasters in Afghanistan, the Reliefs of Lucknow and Chitral - but also their personal ordeals: the bankruptcies in Scotland and Calcutta, the plagues and fevers, the deaths of children and deaths in childbirth. And it brings to life too the unrepeatable strangeness of their lives: the camps and the palaces they lived in, the balls and the flirtations in the hill stations, and the hot slow rides through the dust. An epic saga of love, war, intrigue and treachery, The Tears of the Rajas is surely destined to become a classic of its kind.

The Tears of the Rajas Mutiny, Money and Marriage in India 1805-1905

The Tears of the Rajas Mutiny, Money and Marriage in India 1805-1905

Author: Ferdinand Mount Format: Hardback Release Date: 12/03/2015

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.

The New Few Or a Very British Oligarchy

The New Few Or a Very British Oligarchy

Author: Ferdinand Mount Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 28/03/2013

This was supposed to be the era when democracy came into its own, but instead power and wealth in Britain have slowly been consolidated the hands of a small elite, while the rest of the country struggles financially and switches off politically. We are now ruled by a gang of fat-cats with fingers in every pie who squabble for power among themselves while growing richer. Bored with watching corrupt politicians jockeying for power, ordinary Britons are feeling disconnected from politics and increasingly cynical about the back-scratching relationship between politicians and big business. The New Fewshows us what has led to this point, and asks the critical questions: whyhas Britain become a more unequal society over the past thirty years? Whyhave the banks been bailed out with taxpayers' money, while bankers are still receiving huge bonuses? Why have those responsible not been held accountable for the financial crash? Why has power in Britain become so concentrated in the hands of corrupt politicians who have been exposed cheating their constituents in the expenses scandal? Despite this bleak diagnosis, there are solutions to the rise of the new ruling class in the modern West. The New Few sets out some of the ways in which we can restore our democracy, bringing back real accountability to British business and fairness to our society.

Full Circle How the Classical World Came Back to Us

Full Circle How the Classical World Came Back to Us

Author: Ferdinand Mount Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 14/04/2011

So much about the society that is now emerging in the twenty-first century bears an astonishing resemblance to the most prominent features of what we call the classical world - its institutions, its priorities, its entertainment, its physics, its sexual morality, its food, its politics, even its religion. The ways in which we live our rich and varied lives correspond - almost eerily so - to the ways in which the Greeks and Romans lived theirs. Whether we are eating and drinking, bathing or exercising or making love, pondering, admiring or enquiring, our habits of thought and action, our diversions and concentrations recreate theirs. It is as though the 1500 years after the fall of Rome had been time out from traditional ways of being human. This eye-opening book makes us look afresh at who we are and how we got here. Full Circleis not only wonderfully witty and brilliantly astute, but also profound and often disquieting. Ferdinand Mount effortlessly peels back 2000 years of history to show how much we are like the ancients, how in ways both trivial and crucial we arethem and they are us.

The Selkirk Strip A Post-Imperial Tale

The Selkirk Strip A Post-Imperial Tale

Author: Ferdinand Mount Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 18/03/2010

Aldous Cotton, commonly known as Gus, a civil servant of dry and melancholy humour, stands observing the November dawn from his North London doorstep. His calm existence is about to be disrupted by two events: the invasion of that unloved piece of imperial territory on the other side of the world, known as the Selkirk Strip; and the arrival of his wife's mysterious cousin, Alan Breck Stewart, a survivor of mysterious pasts, unwitting provoker of destruction. While the entire country embarks on a patriotic binge, Alan Breck Stewart pursues his own peculiar path, leaving behind him a wake of sexual disaster and personal disintegration. Splenetic journalists, strong-willed women, tortuously bland civil servants and West Country Catholic gentry - all come under Ferdinand Mount's finely ground microscope in this tragi-comedy or manners and morals. And in Alan Breck Stewart he has created one of those extraordinary characters who burst from the page in embarrassing abandon.

The Clique A Novel of the Sixties

The Clique A Novel of the Sixties

Author: Ferdinand Mount Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 18/02/2010

'We're a group, like in Mary McCarthy', says one of the girls in the Clique. On the other hand, their style may remind you more of Evelyn Waugh's Bright Young Things. And their know-all panache has a touch of J. D. Salinger's quiz-kid Glass family. But The Clique is unmistakably a satire for its own time. Gunby Goater, an up-and-coming reporter, 'hot or at any rate warmish' from the provinces, arrives in Fleet Street, keen for a taste of the fabulous Sixties. His assignment at the deathbed of the Last Great Englishman leads him into a series of adventures with the Clique, who alternately humiliate and delight him. From the author of The Man Who Rode Ampersand, The Clique is a novel of exuberant wit trained sharply, though not without affection, upon a variety of phonies, conmen, topers and hacks.

Mind the Gap

Mind the Gap

Author: Ferdinand Mount Format: Paperback Release Date: 04/02/2010

Through acute observation and vivid illustration - drawing on every aspect of life from soap operas, speech patterns and gardening to education and the distribution of wealth - he demolishes the illusion that we live in a classless society and shows how the worst-off in Britain today are more culturally deprived than their parents or grandparents. The author's solutions, like his explanations of what has gone wrong, are original, surprising and unsparing to intellectuals and politicians of all parties.

Very Like a Whale

Very Like a Whale

Author: Ferdinand Mount Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 21/01/2010

Pheasant-shooting on the Wiltshire downs; East-West conflict in a Berlin night club; infighting in city boardrooms; and sexual skirmishing in the Kensington outback, on the fringes of Winkhill golf club and in a smart Basque resort are some of the elements of this novel. The story concerns the Whale family: Hervey, a less than brilliant Tory Minister; his father, an amiable retired Brigadier; his vague wife Cynthia, and their son George, a young man working in a merchant bank. The Whales are solid, passive and prone to daydreams but their respectable facade threatens to crumble when external forces infiltrate their family unit. Very Like a Whale, Ferdinand Mount's first novel, displays quiet wit and elegance as he explores the underlying theme of power in personal relations.

Cold Cream My Early Life and Other Mistakes

Cold Cream My Early Life and Other Mistakes

Author: Ferdinand Mount Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 02/03/2009

Cold Cream is a sparkling autobiography in the great tradition: wonderfully perceptive, exquisitely rendered and bursting with characters and anecdotes of every shade and hue. A tender, moving and witty portrait of Ferdinand Mount's family and his early life, it follows his bumbling path from his decadent upbringing in the world of 'Hobohemia' to his schooldays at Eton, and from the boozy depths of Fleet Street in the 60s to his years at the vortex of Downing Street in the 80s as speech writer (much to his own bemusement) for Margaret Thatcher. Every sentence radiates with fondness, intelligence and humour in this utterly charming anthology of an eccentric and colourful cast of people who defined their generation.

Heads You Win

Heads You Win

Author: Ferdinand Mount Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 03/11/2005

Heads You Win is a tragicomedy of second chances. After taking early retirement, Gus Cotton is surprised to find himself persuaded by two old friends - a disgraced wheeler-dealer and a convicted drug smuggler - into taking on the City by launching the greatest headhunting company of all time. Added to this mix, the fourth partner in their venture is a beautiful young woman with an alcoholic past. In this, the final volume of his Chronicle of Modern Twilight series, Ferdinand Mount has created a poignant and hilariously funny exploration of the concept that none of us is beyond redemption.

Mind the Gap The New Class Divide in Britain

Mind the Gap The New Class Divide in Britain

Author: Ferdinand Mount Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 29/09/2005

In this provacative and ruthlessly frank book Ferdinand Mount argues that there is a new class divide in Britain which is just as vicious and hard to get rid of as the old one. Through acute observation and vivid illustration, drawing on every aspect of life from soap operas, speech patterns and gardening to education and the distribution of wealth, he demolishes the illusion that we live in a classless society and shows how the worst-off in Britain today are more culturally deprived than their parents or grandparents. The author's solutions, like his explanations of what has gone wrong, are original, suprising and unsparing to intellectuals and politicians of all parties.

Fairness

Fairness

Author: Ferdinand Mount Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 07/02/2002

About Helen, the tiny, blonde, serious girl whom the narrator meets when they are both looking after children during a summer vacation in Normandy. Her adventures in search of a morally satisfying life lead her into situations that are neither satisfying nor moral, from the mining boom in Central Africa to child abuse scandals of 1980s.

The Man Who Rode Ampersand

The Man Who Rode Ampersand

Author: Ferdinand Mount Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/03/2001

Amateur jockey, Harry Cotton's transition from racing skills, champagne receptions, and above all, the sweet experience of an invitation to ride Ampersand, the legendary Gold Cup winner, to the grim world of bedsits was brought about by his unfortunate penchant for gambling.

Of Love And Asthma

Of Love And Asthma

Author: Ferdinand Mount Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/03/2001

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?

Jem (and Sam)

Jem (and Sam)

Author: Ferdinand Mount Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/07/1999

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.

Subversive Family

Subversive Family

Author: Ferdinand Mount Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/10/1998

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.

The Liquidator

The Liquidator

Author: Ferdinand Mount Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/09/1996

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.

Umbrella

Umbrella

Author: Ferdinand Mount Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 25/09/1995

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.

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