The Perfect Summer

The Perfect Summer

England 1911, Just Before the Storm

By Juliet Nicolson

Grove Press, Paperback, 9780802143679, 290pp.

Publication Date: May 1, 2008

"The Perfect Summer" chronicles a glorious English summer a century ago, when the world was on the cusp of irrevocable change. Through the tight lens of four months, Juliet Nicolson's rich storytelling gifts rivet us with the sights, colors, and feelings of a bygone era. That summer of 1911 a new king was crowned and the aristocracy was at play, bounding from one house party to the next. But perfection was not for all. Cracks in the social fabric were showing. The country was brought to a standstill by industrial strikes. Temperatures rose steadily to more than 100 degrees; by August deaths from heatstroke were too many for newspapers to report. Drawing on material from intimate and rarely seen sources and narrated through the eyes of a series of exceptional individuals--among them a debutante, a choirboy, a politician, a trade unionist, a butler, and the queen--"The Perfect Summer" is a vividly rendered glimpse of the twilight of the Edwardian era.

About the Author
Juliet Nicolson is the author of two works of history, "The Great Silence: 1918 1920 Living in the Shadow of the Great War" and "The Perfect Summer: Dancing into Shadow in 1911", and a novel, "Abdication". As the grand-daughter of Vita Sackville-West and Harold Nicolson and the daughter of Nigel Nicolson she is part of a renowned and much scrutinised family and the latest in the family line of record-keepers of the past. She lives with her husband in East Sussex, not far from Sissinghurst, where she spent her childhood. She has two daughters, Clemmie and Flora, and one grand-daughter, Imogen.