2019-08-01 15:01:45 UTC
Jonathan Gathorne-Hardy, who has died aged 86, was a prolific author and high-spirited humorist capable of transforming his life on the fringes of the aristocracy into rambling prose, spattered with life-enhancing joie de vivre on and off the page.
Establishing his reputation in 1972 with The Rise and Fall of the British Nanny, he went on to produce The Public School Phenomenon (1977), Love, Sex, Marriage and Divorce (1981), Doctors (1984), as biographies of the writer and Hispanist Gerald Brenan and the sexologist Alfred Kinsey (on which the 2004 film Kinsey, starring Liam Neeson, was based)...
This MAY be from the same obit:
...In his early days he had a job with the London advertising agency, Ogilvy and Mather, where he worked alongside the young Salman Rushdie, wore the same smart green suit every day and could often be heard on the telephone talking to a builder and decorator about improvements to the London flat he shared with his first wife, Sabrina Tennant, whom he married in 1963.
Jonny Gathorne-Hardy was born on May 17 1933 in Edinburgh, where his father, Anthony, youngest son of the third Earl of Cranbrook, was training to be a doctor. He claimed that he came from “the non-posh side of a fairly posh family” and was particularly proud of the possibility that he might be an illegitimate descendant of Disraeli, for whom his grandfather’s grandfather had worked as Home Secretary. He and his impoverished, alcoholic parents spent the next few years on the outskirts of the estate of his bat-expert uncle John, the fourth Earl of Cranbrook, near Snape, Suffolk...
(tiny notice, mostly about his pedigree)
(book covers - I'm pretty sure "The Office" game shouldn't be there)
(amusing review of his 1981 non-fiction "Love, Sex, Marriage, and Divorce")
"...Monogamy, not marriage, is under threat: ‘no matter how you phrase the statistics, one thing is clear – the institution of marriage itself still rests on a bedrock of statistical stability.’ Between the end of the 16th century and the start of the 19th, the average length of a marriage was twenty years (the figures are Peter Laslett’s). Today, couples who don’t divorce can expect to be together for forty or fifty years – ‘for a good number of people it is a great deal too long.’ In this context Gathorne-Hardy’s seemingly daft proposition, ‘divorce – the modern death’, can be seen to make sense..."
(a few videos)
And he wrote for children as well.
From "Contemporary Authors":
"In addition to being a noted social historian, Jonathan Gathorne-Hardy is a writer of fanciful tales for adults and children. As a creator of fiction for adolescents, Gathorne-Hardy's most notable characters are Jane, who resides in an old English castle, and the castle's fastidious housekeeper, Mrs. Deal. Together they find themselves in outrageous predicaments, as in Jane's Adventures in and out of the Book, when Jane discovers a bizarre world as she walks into the illustrations of an ancient book. And as world travelers in Jane's Adventures on the Island of Peeg and Jane's Adventures in a Balloon, they find themselves on a Scottish isle and in the midst of deepest Africa."
"Accident prone and totally incompetent, Cyril Bonhamy seems unable to perform the simplest tasks. But somehow he always ends up an unlikely hero after the most terrifying adventures. Jonathan Gathorne-Hardy combines humour and fast action in this hilarious series."
(birthday post from 2013, with filmography and booklist)