The Perfect Summer: England 1911, Just Before the Storm - Juliet Nicolson

This is book 3 in my 2018 NF project, so I'm good to go until the end of April. I have also started A World Undone, and have more than two full months to finish it before worrying about May. That's just housekeeping, though, and has little do with The Perfect Summer.

 

Overall, this one wasn't as engaging as either of the other two books which I previously read, mostly because of the content. The other books contained much more human drama. This one was interesting for what it was, which is a slightly deeper than superficial look at the social conditions as they existed in England during the summer of 1911. Nicholson addresses both the upper class Brits, who are doing their usual thing, which is nothing of substance, and some of the service/working class individuals. 

 

She mentions a butler, specifically, who seems (according to the book) to have kept a diary. We got none of the entries from the diary, which is a bit of a pity, as it might have been interesting to get the straight scoop direct from the horse's mouth. She also addresses some of the strikes, and talks, briefly, about the upheaval that is occurring as a result of young people leaving service and looking for factory style jobs.

 

It would be difficult for any author to provide much analytical depth given the book's scattershot framework. Overall, I was left with more questions than answers. My raised-eyebrow in the direction of the utter pointlessness of the British upper crust remains unabated. What did they do all day? Eat, gossip, sleep with husbands/wives not one's own, and change clothes with the assistance of servants seems to be the answer.