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My Better Half and Me by Rosemary Ackland, Joss Ackland

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Featured on The Book Show on Sky Arts on 1 June 2010.

"My Better Half and Me" weaves together Rosemary's diaries with Joss' commentary to tell of an extraordinary love-story that lasted over fifty years.


My Better Half and Me by Rosemary Ackland, Joss Ackland

Rosemary Ackland began writing her diary in 1945, aged just fifteen. For the next fifty-eight years, through happiness and heartache, she continued to write. Even after the tragic onset of Motor Neurone disease, which left her mute and immobile, her diary was still an outlet - in fact, then more than ever. Her simple, heartfelt jottings were never intended for an audience. But, during her last days, as he helped her hold a pen, her husband Joss read her words for the first time. Deeply moved by her lifetime's recollections he asked her consent to publish them and she agreed. Their life together was remarkably full. At first they lived on a shoestring, struggling to bring up their new family with Joss' paycheques as a young actor. Once Joss' career took off their lives became a dynamic whirl of tours across the country. But they remained an extremely close-knit family, with lives shaped by their seven children, by the tragic, untimely death of their eldest son, and later, by the birth of their grandchildren. Above all, this intimate and candid story, shows how lucky they were to have each other. In turbulent times they were each other's rock. Theirs was a true old fashioned romance.

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simple, astonishingly moving The Sunday Times

About the Author

Joss Ackland CBE was born in 1928 in London. Trained as an actor, he has appeared in more than 130 films, and countless theatre, alongside such luminaries as Judy Dench, Ingrid Bergman and Lauren Bacall. However, his first priority was always his wife Rosemary, and now their seven children and 33 grandchildren.

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Book Info

Publication date

6th August 2009


Rosemary Ackland, Joss Ackland

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Author 'Like for Like'


Ebury Press


320 pages


Biography / Autobiography
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Autobiography: arts & entertainment
Diaries, letters & journals
Films, cinema
Individual actors & performers



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