Based On A True Story

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From poker to poetry, poisoners to princes, opera to the Oscars, Shakespeare to Olivier, Mozart to Murdoch, Anthony Holden seems to have rolled many writers' lives into one. Author of 40 books on a wide range of subjects, this Lancashire lad-turned-bohemian citizen of the world has led an apparently charmed life from Merseyside to Buckingham Palace, the White House and beyond. As he enters his 70s, the award-winning journalist and biographer - son of a seaside shopkeeper, grandson of an England footballer, friend of the famous from Peter O'Toole to Princess Diana - spills the beans on showbiz names to literary sophisticates, rock stars to royals as he looks back whimsically and wittily on a richly varied, anecdote- and action-packed career - concluding, in the words of Robert Louis Stevenson, that 'Life is not a matter of holding good cards, but of playing a poor hand well'.

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