A couple of weeks after I finished Take Six Girls/The Six, my beloved dog Louis died. He was eighteen (Italian greyhounds can be wonderfully long-lived) and I had acquired him as an unwanted show puppy. I spent his last day holding him, giving him water through a dropper and taking him outside for a last look at the sun.
So I dedicated the book to him. It was very typical of his cool, mysterious temperament that he waited for me to finish before he died.
‘The well-beloved’ was of course the epithet attached to Louis XV, whom Nancy Mitford wrote about in her marvellous biography of Madame de Pompadour (and had rather a crush on; like all the Frenchmen that she wrote about, she implicitly compared him with her own lover Gaston Palewski).
My piece about Lord Lucan, the subject of my book A DIFFERENT CLASS OF MURDER, was published in the quarterly magazine Town and Country this summer (the issue with Lady Edith on the cover…)
In the winter issue I have a piece about greyhounds: the subject of my first book THE DOGS. London is almost certainly about to lose its last surviving greyhound track, Wimbledon. The piece traces the history of the once all-conquering sport and is also – more importantly – a homage to the wonderful, glorious, sweet-natured dogs.
I shall be in New York the week of 19th September – details to follow.
This year I have talked about the book in Perth and Adelaide, at Felixstowe and Buxton, and at the Ways with Words festivals in Cumbria and Dartington…
My favourite audience member is seen here: Fern, an orphaned baby kangaroo, rescued by a gorgeous lady who came to the event in Adelaide with this divine creature in a large bag.
On November 22nd I shall be at the Richmond Literary Festival, all kangaroos welcome.