My Life So Far: The Memoirs of Nicolas Gage, 8th Viscount Gage

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This intimate and personal memoir of the present incumbent of Firle Place, the home in the South Downs of the Gage family for 500 years, is described as follows by Charles Moore: In this book, Nicky Gage describes his father's memoirs as 'masterly but short'. The same could be said of his own. Both when being funny - which, again and again, he is - and when being serious, he has a gift for economy of style. Take this chapter opening: 'Sadly, the sexual revolution of the 1960s passed me by, as I was either sitting on my tractor looking after sheep or occasionally visiting my parents - whose butler disapproved of my agricultural attire.' Without being tediously confessional, Nicky is direct about his own failings. One of these, he thinks, is that he took much too long to grow up. Is that such a failing? No doubt it caused some difficulties along the way, but his childlike quality is central to the charm to which all his friends testify. It has allowed him to stay open to the world. He became a father in his seventies and continues to paint and hunt in his mid-eighties, an age when most men would long have put aside such things. He possesses an invincible innocence, which lights up his blue eyes, and makes this book a delight.

Sir John Gage made the family fortune in the first half of the 16th century. Nicky, his descendant, writes admiringly of Sir John's good intentions towards Firle expressed in his will. We should all admire Nicky's fulfilment of those intentions in the 21st.

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Dynasty Press Ltd
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