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Joyce Grenfell: A Biography by Janie Hampton

Joyce Grenfell: A Biography

by Janie Hampton

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This is a good, but not completely sympathetic, account of Joyce Grenfell's life, with some interesting revelations. Its a useful balance to Grenfell's autobiographies and provides insight into the complexities of her character. ( )
  riverwillow | Sep 5, 2008 |
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"Joyce Grenfell (1910-1979) was a British institution and one of the country's best-loved entertainers, immortalized in roles such as the gym mistress, Miss Gossage ('Call me Sausage'), in The Happiest Days of Your Life, and Ruby Gates in the St. Trinian's films. She achieved success as a writer and performer of songs and monologues on stage and radio at a time when it was unusual for a woman of her background to work at all." "Joyce revealed little about her private life in her two autobiographies, and after her death her image was fiercely guarded by her devoted husband Reggie and her close friends, so that she came to be remembered as almost unnaturally perfect. Now, at last, it is possible to show her with all her human failings as well as her humour, kindness and generosity." "Janie Hampton grew up knowing Joyce as a family friend and has had access to unpublished letters and diaries, and to the memories of her surviving friends, relations and colleagues for this, the first, biography. She explores Joyce's tense relationship with her mother; her sadness over her childlessness; her love affair in Cairo with Prince Aly Khan; her mixed feelings about actors and the theatre; her moving acts of philanthropy and her faith in Christian Science which enabled her to endure the pain of cancer without medical treatment."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)

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