Rupert Hart-Davis

The Power of Chance

Those of you who watch science programs in the UK will be aware of the rather quirky presenter Adam Hart-Davis. You may not know that he comes from a pretty distinguished family. 'The Power of Chance' is the autobiography of his father Rupert Hart-Davis. It starts when Rupert is 19, following the death of his mother. After a brief spell as an actor, and marriage to the well known actress Peggy Ashcroft the book gets on to his main career in the publishing business. As such he met many well-known people and the book will be of interest to those readers wanting a glimpse into the start of the careers of actors and authors who are now famous.

So the book will appeal to those with an interest in celebrities, but for the more general reader, looking for a good story, I'm not so sure. The first part of the book seems to consist mainly of snippets of information, with none of the longer anecdotes that make a biography interesting. As the author was the editor of a number of other peoples biographies, I expected rather more from this book. The last part of the book describes the author's time in the army in the 2nd World War. This is mostly formed from letters to his 2nd wife Comfort, and as such put together as more of a story. Unfortunately the material here is less interesting than in the earlier part - many people must have gone through the same army training and adminsistration.

Amazon.com info
Hardcover 196 pages  
ISBN: 1856190773
Salesrank: 4959913
Weight:1.32 lbs
Published: 1992 Trafalgar Square
Amazon price $24.00
Marketplace:New from $24.00:Used from $10.78
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Amazon.co.uk info
Hardcover 196 pages  
ISBN: 1856190773
Salesrank: 2023693
Weight:1.32 lbs
Published: 1991 Sinclair-Stevenson Ltd
Marketplace:New from £40.29:Used from £0.56
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Amazon.ca info
Hardcover 196 pages  
ISBN: 1856190773
Salesrank:
Weight:1.32 lbs
Published: 1992 Trafalgar Square
Marketplace:New from CDN$ 61.38:Used from CDN$ 14.85
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Product Description
In "The Arms of Time", Rupert Hart-Davis told the story of his mother's short life and of his own first 19 years. "The Power of Chance" carries his story through his next 19 years, two marriages (one to Peggy Ashcroft) and three children, against backgrounds of the theatre, the book-trade and the army. On the way we have glimpses of Max Beerbohm, T.E. Lawrence, the army, Hilaire Belloc, Edgar Wallace and Field-Marshall Lord Wavell. Most of the text is derived from contemporary letters and diaries and it contains with anecdotes and portraits. Rupert Hart-Davis is the author of a biography of Hugh Walpole. He has also edited "The Lyttelton Hart-Davis Letters", "The Letters of Oscar Wilde", "George Moore's Letters to Lady Cunard", "A Catalogue of the Caricatures of Max Beernohm" and "The Autobiography of Arthur Ransome".