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The life of Kenneth Tynan by Kathleen Tynan
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The life of Kenneth Tynan (edition 1987)

by Kathleen Tynan

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Member:GeneRuyle
Title:The life of Kenneth Tynan
Authors:Kathleen Tynan
Info:London : Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1987.
Collections:Untitled collection
Rating:*****
Tags:None

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The Life of Kenneth Tynan by Kathleen Tynan

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As close to perfect -- informed, balanced, thorough, complete -- as a biography by any spouse ever could be. In assessing a single one of Kenneth Tynan's prodigious, innovative, and highly original contributions to theater, the utmost skill in writing and wielding the written word is not only called for but a must; yet Kathleen Tynan's task is the even more daunting one of assessing them all! This she does impeccably with such masterful and astonishing ease from the book's first sentence to its last, that one cannot imagine how her feat could be equaled again by anyone -- let alone ever possibly be improved upon.

From the opening sentence in her prologue: "It is an odd business to turn sleuth on one's husband, to excavate and plunder a life, not just that married term to which a wife might lay claim, but the whole magnificent span. Yet it is a path I zealously wanted to pursue." To the last words she chose to close her book with: -- from the letter he wrote her a short time before dying of cancer -- "At the hour of my death, may You be the refuge of my astonished soul, and receive it into Your merciful breast. This comes to you from the desk of Your husband, Ken."

Hers is a work of tireless pursuit, fathomless human understanding, and surpassing merit! ( )
  GeneRuyle | Nov 20, 2012 |
If you are interested in how British theatre went through revolutinary changes in the 50s and 60s, then you would know how influential Kenneth Tynan was. His newspaper reviews were revelatory: he could describe cultural innovation as it happened and contribute to it at the same time.

But be warned, this book, written by his wife some years after his death describes his marital infidelity without censorship.
Yet paradoxically her love for him makes her able to both claim his rightful place as a major cultural force in the 60s while exposing his tortured sexuality that was also bound up in it. Its a compelling and often moving read and an uniquely intimate biography. Such a pity his books are out of print. ( )
  ChrisWildman | Jun 7, 2010 |
wife of KT. ( )
  Porius | Oct 10, 2008 |
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