Intriguing, in all senses. It really is one of those books one can’t put down. Its author comes across as a snob, a cad, a poseur, a careerist… but something about him makes the reader keep going and finally emerge with the conclusion that there are others (inside and outside politics) who are far, far worse than Alan Clark. The parliamentary intrigue is balanced by the many entries written at Saltwood his (extensive) family home. His descriptions of the house, the gardens, the fields, the animals, the staff are warm and appealing and coloured out lovingly in the pigments of each succeeding season. I think, seeing as they are diaries, I should use his own words in his preface to describe them:
“Sometimes lacking in clarity; often trivial; occasionally lewd; cloyingly sentimental, repetitious, whingeing and imperfectly formed. For some readers the entries may seem to be all of these things.
But they are real diaries.”