The first section of First Childhood and Far from the Madding War is a simple account of the Gay artist/composer/diplomat ‘Lord Berners’ upbringing as a child in hunting, shootin’ and fishin’ in late Victorian England.
It is a well-trodden path but is traversed here in an unusually incisive, graceful and charitable way. Even a genuinely sadistic headmaster is treated gently. An effeminate man is the object of a distasteful bit of queer-bashing.
The author also appears to have a slight streak of antisemitism which surfaces in the novella “Far From The Madding War”, where he refers to ‘fat Jewesses’. The book is a parody of The Oxford Novel, unfortunately, the beast was deeply self-parodying and the straining after effect does show.
“First Childhood” is graceful, loveable and beautifully written, make a gift of it to someone you really like (love).
This review was written by Sean McGouran during the Spring of 1985 and published in Gay Star Issue No 15. The reviews for Gay Star and its sister publications were most times short as publishing a paper-based publication was expensive, and resources were in short supply; however, for all of that, our readers came from all sides of the globe, and they liked the honesty of the reviews.
|Title||First Childhood & Far From The Madding War|
|Author||Lord Gerald Hugh Tyrwhitt-Wilson Berners|
|Amazon Link||First Childhood & Far From The Madding War|