Rebecca Wallersteiner, writer for medical publication Hippocratic Post, has been isolating with new titles. In her article, she recommends two Quartet titles for the summer ahead…
If you can’t travel abroad during your summer holidays this year, there are still small everyday pleasures to enjoy. Settle into a comfy chair, pour yourself a glass of wine and enjoy Waugh on Wine, this entertaining collection of former Spectator wine critic Auberon Waugh’s writings on wine which sparkles with his legendary wit. On pink champagne, (a personal favourite of mine), he writes, “there is something Barbara Cartlandlish about returning to this great Edwardian favourite. Perhaps it cannot compare, in delicacy or subtlety, to the very best white champagne, but how many of us ever drink the very best?” Pink fizz is much more “festive” to look at. Waugh recommends “hosts that skimp on their wine should be exposed, ridiculed and humiliated” and “anyone with money to spend should spend it on laying down a cellar.” A little dated, it is a must for wine lovers.
One of the most colourful personalities on London’s cultural scene, Naim Attallah has published a diverse roll call of notable literary names throughout the years, including Angela Carter, Brian Sewell and Leni Riefenstahl, to name a few. In Memories Attallah writes entertainingly about his sparkling contemporaries. These range from the violinist and conductor Yehudi Menuhin, politicians Tony Ben and Enoch Powell, to ballerina Margot Fonteyn, founder of Private Eye Richard Ingrams and writer Quentin Crew; to Michael Aspel and the former Chairman of Conde Nast Britain, Nicholas Coleridge. Attallah warmly relates how despite having muscular dystrophy and using a wheelchair the journalist Quentin Crewe never ceased to delight in beautiful women, travel, and partying the night away: he argued that disabled people are not very different to anyone else. Packed with quirky anecdotes, (often about sex), this very funny memoir should appeal to fans of Private Eye. I enjoyed reading it.
Waugh on Wine, by Auberon Waugh, with illustrations by William Rushton, (first published in 1987), re-published in paperback by Quartet Books, priced at £10.
Memories: The charms and follies of a lifetime’s by Naim Attallah, published by Quartet Books, June 2020 , priced at £15.