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Present Indicative: The Autobiography of Noël Coward, Vol. 1 (Biography and Autobiography) Paperback – May 20, 2004

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Present Indicative: The Autobiography of Noël Coward, Vol. 1 (Biography and Autobiography) + The Noël Coward Diaries
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Methuen Drama (May 20, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0413774139
  • ISBN-13: 978-0413774132
  • Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 5.1 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,085,203 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"He is simply a phenomenon, and one that is unlikely to occur ever again in theatre history."—Terence Rattigan

About the Author

Noël Coward was born in Teddington, Middlesex on 16 December 1899. A professional stage actor from the age of twelve, Coward later created a sensation as a playwright, with titles such as Hay Fever, The Vortex, Private Lives, Cavalcade, Blithe Spirit, and Design For Living. In the forties he was involved in film, with adaptations of Blithe Spirit and Brief Encounter, before starting a new career as a cabaret performer in the fifties. A celebrated wit and prodigious theatrical talent, Coward wrote over a hundred works in various different genres. He was knighted in 1970 and died three years later in Jamaica.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By disheveledprofessor on October 2, 2006
Format: Paperback
I have read this book several times over the last 30 years. And while I enjoy it from time to time, I must confess that I am surprised that it is being re-released. Is the audience for theatrical history that large?

Coward's early autobiography will appeal to lovers of the theatre. There is naturally a lot of theatrical background and name-dropping, but many of those names, while important names, may be unfamiliar with today's reader [Sir Charles Hawtrey, Madge Titheradge, etc.]. Others of course, still resound today: Gertrude Lawrence, Laurence Olivier, Gielgud.

Coward's wit drips from every page, often self-deprecating, but always discreet [no mention of his homosexuality, etc.], amusing and in good taste. Coward focuses on his professional life, and not his personal life. It doesn't have the insight that Moss Hart's "Act One" has. Since the memoir was written in 1937, naturally a great portion deals with his early life, and the insight to impoverished genteel life in the early part of the century is fascinating.
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