Charmed Life
Damian Collins, Read by Thomas Judd

Book cover image

Narrated By: Thomas Judd

Duration: 10 hours and 24 minutes

What to expect

The story of a fascinating man who connected the great politicians, artists and thinkers at the height of British global power and influence.

A famed aesthete, politician and patron of the arts, Philip Sassoon lived in a world of English elegance and oriental flair. Gathering a social set that would provide inspiration for Brideshead Revisited, Sassoon gave parties at which Winston Churchill argued with George Bernard Shaw, while Noël Coward and Lawrence of Arabia mingled with flamingos and Rex Whistler painted murals as the party carried on around them.

Not merely a wealthy socialite, he worked at the right hand of Douglas Haig during the First World War and then for Prime Minister Lloyd George for the settlement of the peace. He was close to King Edward VIII during the abdication crisis, and Minister for the Air Force in the 1930s. And yet as the heir of wealthy Jewish traders from the souks of Baghdad, Philip craved acceptance from the English establishment. In Charmed Life, Damian Collins explores an extraordinary connected life at the heart of society during the height of British global power and influence.

Genre

Biography: historical, political & military, Social & cultural history

Listen to a sample

‘Enlivened with a rich crop of anecdotes … Sassoon emerges as a delicate, almost fairytale figure … as a supreme networker, a dedicated politician and a lover of beautiful things’ The Times

‘Damian Collins has written the first history of Sassoon’s life, offering an extraordinary insight into a colourful, quintessential aristocrat’ Vanity Fair

‘Sassoon’s legacy was like a rare scent on a pocket handkerchief. Damian Collins has done a good job in assembling the pieces to create a readable and lively picture of this extravagant creature’ Literary Review

‘Sir Phillip Sassoon was an extraordinary man, whose life vividly illustrates how politics changed’ New Statesman

‘Damian Collins rehearses the party life of his subject, but it’s the political life that fascinates him’ Country Life