Coleridge, Nicholas. A Much Married Man. Thomas Dunne Bks: St. Martin’s. June 2007. c.464p. ISBN 978-0-312-36383-3. $24.95. Fiction.

Coleridge’s background as former editor of Harpers & Queen (now Harper's Bazaar), founding chair of Fashion Rocks (the rock and fashion extravaganza for The Princes’ Trust), and managing director of Condé Nast U.K. serves him well in this aptly titled and leisurely paced novel of upper-class British society. Anthony Anscombe, scion of a London banking family and heir to Winchford Priory and the village it dominates, might seem a cad to those who know him only through the gossip columns. Instead, he is a kind, unassuming man, “genetically predisposed to be forever polite,” who slowly gets sucked into a maelstrom created by his several wives, their offspring, and other hangers-on. Married in his teens (the year is 1965) to flighty Amanda just days after chasing her down in France, he begins his first “death-defying rollercoaster ride” and fathers (or so he thinks for most of his life) his first child. Other wives, a mistress, and numerous children follow, leading to a kaleidoscope of engaging complications. Finely detailed, psychologically astute, and boasting a beautifully rendered cast of characters, this magnificent novel offers an intriguing insider’s view of the lives of the gentry. Highly recommended for all public libraries.

Library Journal, 132, no. 11 (June 15, 2007), 54.


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