the observer Sun 15 March 2009
Judging by this polished memoir, the fledgling life of Ferdy Mount - writer, journalist and, in a brief "holiday from irony", Thatcher's speechwriter - was mostly spent memorising the pithy asides of statesmen, artistes and double-barrelled Bright Young Things. It's predictably camp stuff, yet wistful and self-effacing: "My only avenue of survival," he says of his job appointments, "was personal recommendation, my only method of arrival the parachute." Born, he regrets, a generation too late, he had to make do with being a lad on the fringes of his parents' world of "Hobohemia". Still, he got to go shooting in Sassoon's wood, be chaperoned to the music hall by Betjeman and marvel at nine-year-old Michael of Kent's "princely willie".