Sir Raymond Carr, the renowned historian of Spain, has reviewed Ronald Fraser's In Search of a Past for the Spectator. While Fraser and Carr may differ somewhat in their views on the aristocracy, Carr finds the book "a compelling read."
In Search of a Past concerns Fraser's life as a boy and adolescent in a Hampshire manor house in the late 1930s and during the second world war. It is constructed from his childhood memories and his extensive conversations with the surviving members of that world, which he recorded on revisiting his old home 34 years after he'd left it. What is revealed is that upstairs, downstairs way of life so beloved of television producers. Above stairs were his father, a crusty, conservative army officer, and his mother, a more elusive American heiress. Below stairs were eight domestic servants.
Visit the Spectator to read the review in full.
See also Raymond Carr's in depth review of Ronald Fraser's seminal Napoleon's Cursed War, also in the Spectator.