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  1. This is not your normal theatrical biography, though Felicity Kendal does describe her career and its sucesses this book was written while her father lay dieing and is largely a paean to him. Geoffrey Kendal was a beloved monster, charming, beguiling and utterly selfish. He fell in love with India and the idea of setting up a touring Shakespearean troupe and that's exactly what he did, dragging his long suffering actress wife, 13 year old daughter and baby Felicity in his wake. The story of Felicity's peripatetic childhood travelling all over India, taking her first role aged six, snatching her schooling where she could (at one school she took two exams and came top in Urdu and bottom in English) is utterly fascinating. Her sister, one of the company's lead actresses married one of Bollywood's rising heartthrobs much to their father's rage - he wanted to keep his troop together, later on the same thing happened when Felicity broke away and tried to launch an acting career. She was woefully ill equipped since she knew nothing of how to behave in swinging London or even what was required for an audition since she'd never had to do one. For me this latter part was less interesting than India though Felicity's charm and style of writing carried it through. She never says anything nasty about anyone - except about herself - but the result is far from anodyne as she's a clever enough writer to let you make up your own mind about the people she's describing. White Cargo is out of print but if you like to read about unusual lives I'd recommend hunting out a second hand copy.
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