THE BOOK OF SNOBS by

THE BOOK OF SNOBS

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KIRKUS REVIEW

This is a climber's compendium co-authored by the Duke of Bedford. He's used a number of ploys to keep a castle over his head (guided tours of the ancestral home, nudists on the lawn, his autobiography--A Silver-Plated Spoon). All this has given him a ringside country seat for snob-watching. He takes considerable pleasure in snob-shocking, too. Together with his collaborator, His Grace outlines the successful crash of dinners, dances and parties. Chapters on the casually correct choice of clothes, cars, sports and conversation show how to intrude unobtrusively on the socially and financially exclusive. The tone throughout is that of the offhand observation uttered in enervation (i.e., ""If opportunity offers itself to go to bed with your host's wife at a house-party or a friend's wife anywhere, try to get out of it--as long as you can do it decently.""). His expertise in the hairy status symbols of the English is such that when this book was published there it was seriously, humorlessly discussed by those who felt that tradition was being assailed. All this, plus how to keep the butler in his place, did not quite survive the trans-Atlantic crossing. Despite the commercial coronet, only the more determined Anglophile will applaud.

Publisher: Coward-McCann