Sources for Further Study (Magill's Literary Annual 1991-2005)
Booklist. XCII, August, 1996, p. 1847.
Library Journal. CXXI, August, 1996, p. 75.
London Review of Books. XVII, November 30, 1995, p. 17.
Los Angeles Times Book Review. November 17, 1996, p. 8.
National Review. XLVIII, September 16, 1996, p. 60.
New Statesman and Society. VIII, December 8, 1995, p. 30.
The New York Times Book Review. CI, August 25, 1996, p. 7.
The New Yorker. LXXII, September 9, 1996, p. 86.
Publishers Weekly. CCXLIII, June 17, 1996, p. 53.
The Times Literary Supplement. November 24, 1995, p. 20.
The Wall Street Journal. August 15, 1996, p. A8.
The Washington Post Book World. XXVI, August 18, 1996, p. 3.
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Noël Coward (Magill Book Reviews)
The life of Noë Coward, actor, playwright, cabaret entertainer, raconteur, has been well documented in his three autobiographical volumes, PRESENT INDICATIVE (1937), FUTURE INDEFINITE (1954), and PAST CONDITIONAL (1986), and in his carefully edited diaries, MIDDLE EAST DIARY (1944) and THE Noë COWARD DIARIES (1982). None of these books, however, has been frank and open about Coward’s homosexuality, which was a significant component of his life and creativity.
Philip Hoare, while never sensationalizing, sheds light on this aspect of his subject, which, through the years, has been touched on in many of Coward’s cabaret routines and plays but has never before been discussed openly as it affects the author’s productive, creative life. Hoare’s biography is exhaustive. His research efforts are unflagging. The result is a biography that will become the standard work to which scholars turn to seek detailed and accurate biographical information about Noë Coward.
Some may complain that Hoare is too detailed in his presentation, but those who use the book for insights into Coward’s work and into the literary milieu in which he worked and lived will appreciate the details Hoare presents. Fortunately a keen sense of language and the ability to write lively prose are the leavening agents that make this lengthy biography completely and engagingly readable from start to finish.
Hoare has imbibed and applied to his own writing the...
(The entire section is 263 words.)