Synopses & Reviews
A biography and family memoir by turns hilarious and heart-wrenching, Miranda Seymour's Thrumpton Hall is a riveting, frequently shocking, and ultimately unforgettable true story of the devastating consequences of obsessive desire and misplaced love.
"Dear Thrumpton, how I miss you tonight." When twenty-one-year-old George Seymour wrote these words in 1944, the object of his affection was not a young woman but the beautiful country house in Nottinghamshire that he desired above all else. Miranda Seymour would later be raised at Thrumpton Hall—her upbringing far from idyllic, as life revolved around her father's odd capriciousness. The house took priority over everything, even his family—until the day when George Seymour, in his golden years, began dressing in black leather and riding powerful motorbikes around the countryside in the company of surprising friends.
For fans of Downton Abbey—the shows creator, Julian Fellowes, called it “brilliant, original, and intensely readable”—Thrumpton Hall is a poignant and memorable true story of family.
"Seymour, who's written biographies, fiction and children's books, now tells a more intimate tale, the story of her father, George FitzRoy Seymour, and the home, Thrumpton Hall, that was his great passion. In this well-told family saga, Seymour begins by noting that her father enjoyed royal lineage, even if it was only to King Charles II's mistress. Thanks to George's father's career in the foreign service, George was barely two when his parents left him with childless relations at Thrumpton Hall, which became his Eden. His need for money to secure actual title to Thrumpton may have inspired his marriage to Rosemary Scott-Ellis. Daughter Miranda doesn't shy from George's less honorable moments. When she was an awkward teenager, her father didn't hesitate to tell her how fat she looked or that her hair was so ugly she should wear a wig. And as he aged, George openly indulged his passion for young men. (July)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
“Miranda Seymours wonderful memoir is a kind of posthumous conversation with her father. The ending is particularly powerful. What a gripping, poignant, dramatic, emotionally searing book she has written.” Joyce Carol Oates
“A memoir that reads like a fairy tale gone wrong.” Joyce Carol Oates, Times Literary Supplement, (named one of the best books of the year) Times Literary Supplement (London)
“A rich and entertaining account of the upper classes in the early to mid-twentieth century. There are endless family tragedies, trysts and twists. . . . Needless to say, perfect for anyone whos ever obsessed about a beautiful house in the country.” Tatler
“A brilliantly crafted true story, In My Fathers House gains depth and complexity from its willingness to explore the ethical dilemma of revealing painful family secrets. There is more to learn about human nature in this short memoir than in many novels two or three times its length.” Pat Barker, Booker Prize-winning author of The Regeneration Trilogy
“Few books capture the pain and laughter of upper-class English life as vividly as this one. It is a gem of a memoir, and I wish there were others like it.” Alexander Waugh, author of Fathers and Sons: The Autobiography of a Family
“Disarming in its honesty, endlessly surprising and oddly touching.” Jonathan Mirsky, The Spectator (A Book of the Year)
Beautifully written. . . . Its also the story of her father, and not the least of its accomplishments is that it instantly catapults him into the front rank of impossible and eccentric English parents. . . . Both comic . . . and immensely touching.” New York Times Book Review
“An extremely well-told tale of an unexceptional man. . . . For the reader, it is a treat to catch an author at the height of her descriptive powers, exposing the agony of parental disappointment with honesty, sensitivity, and touches of brilliance.” The Guardian
“This is a brilliant, original, and intensely readable book. . . . I cannot recommend it too highly.” Julian Fellowes, creator of < i=""> Downton Abbey <>
Dear Thrumpton, how I miss you tonight
, wrote twenty-one-year-old George Seymour in 1944. But the object of his affection was not a young woman but a house—ownership of which was then a distant dream. But he did eventually acquire Thrumpton, a beautiful country house in Nottinghamshire, and it was in this idyllic home that Miranda Seymour was raised. Her upbringing was far from idyllic, however, as life revolved around her father's capriciousness. The house took priority and everything else was secondary, even his wife. Until, that is, the day when George Seymour, already in his golden years, took to wearing black leather and riding powerful motorbikes around the countryside in the company of a young male friend. Had he taken leave of his senses? Or had he finally found them? And how did this sea change affect his wife and daughter?
Both biography and family memoir, this sometimes hilarious, sometimes heart-wrenching story—told in a voice as unforgettable as it is moving—is a riveting and ultimately shocking portrait of desire and the devastating consequences of misplaced love.
About the Author
Miranda Seymour is the author of many acclaimed works, including biographies of Mary Shelley, Henry James, and French racing driver Hellé Nice. She has also written four children's books and a collection of stories set at her former home on Corfu. She lives in England.