Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Cecil Beaton's diary

"Friday, 30th July

...At 5.30 I went to tea with Emerald……The Princess de Polignac came in and said to Emerald, 'This charming young man came to dinner with me, and wrote me a beautiful letter.  Then, if you please, he sent me Tom Jones--but in a rare edition of two volumes of priceless value.'  This frightened me stiff for I asked myself how much that villainous Nancy would  charge me for this book.

I joined Jamesey at Rule's restaurant… I said that more people ought to keep diaries, but the trouble was that the most unscrupulous diarists were too scrupulous when it came to putting personal truths on paper. James said that Cecil [Beaton's] diary would be the chronicle of our age, that we would only live through it.  I said Eddy Sackville West kept one.  James said, 'We could not be hoisted to posterity on two spikier spikes.' "

Ancestral Voices  James Lees-Milne

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