|About the Book|
Stephen Wallingford, once the epitaph of all things fabulous and now a recluse of the modern era, receives a letter from an up and coming author wishing to talk about his life. Although reluctant to meet, Stephen decides to re-emerge from theMoreStephen Wallingford, once the epitaph of all things fabulous and now a recluse of the modern era, receives a letter from an up and coming author wishing to talk about his life. Although reluctant to meet, Stephen decides to re-emerge from the shadows, and reflect on the past, of childhood ambitions and dreams, forgotten lovers and the scandalous demise of the bright young things. And with tears, laughter and broken hearts rediscovered, Stephen is transported back in time to a life of parties, pink gin and illicit love.When Stephen Wallingford was a child, his Aunt Jessica indulged his childhood taste for fur, pots of face cream and extraordinary hats with ostrich feathers attached. Her London apartment was filled with gold antiques and bowls of exotic fruit such as mangoes and pineapples. Aunt Jessica let Stephen watch as she painted her eyelids a vivid colour of green, her cheeks carnation pink and arranged her newly dyed hair which caused many a disapproving look amongst the Bayswater set. She spent hours languishing in her bathroom smothered in face cream and used to sweat off excessive weights (She was always eating according to other family members) by wearing a rubber corset and playing rigorous games of tennis.Fast forward fifty years and Stephen is reeking of perfume, covered with foundation, with ribbons hanging from his dyed comb-over hairdo, he rested non-stop in decorative reclusion. Unconcerned about his grossly overweight figure (But Im beautiful, he would reason, and the more of me there is the better I like it! ), he lay in bed surrounded by his jewellery, drawings and Elvis Presley postcards while, as writer Mark Binmore puts it, his decorative fantasies were running amok (the pink and gold statues in the overgrown garden, the fishnets and seashells everywhere, the bursting pipes and rotting carpets). Happily re-creating the perfervid environment of his youth, Stephen calmly painted the tops of his legs with pancake makeup and proudly showed his suntan to astonished visitors.But there is just one slight problem.Stephen Wallingford never existed and yet the world he would have lived in almost certainly did. Mark Binmore has created here a part interview part biography of a bright young beautiful person being interviewed in his twilight years, a chance to reflect on the past to discover secret sins and forgotten lovers, a time to ponder, to cry, perhaps even to forget and move on.