Simon Raven, The Decline of the Gentleman
Raven, Simon. The Decline of the Gentleman. First Edition. 1962. Book is in very good condition; dust jacket is in very good minus condition—jacket shows a mildly faded spine and a tiny tear to the upper left from cover.
When the hedonist Simon Raven finally died, a good forty years later than one might have supposed based upon his hard-living ways, the Guardian wrote that it was “proof the devil looks after his own.” In spite of not being one himself (or maybe even because of it), Raven writes perceptively and movingly here about the origins of the English gentleman and his 20th Century decline. A cousin of Nancy Mitford’s Noblesse Oblige, this book asserts that the upper class will survive. It is gentility that is on life support.
“It has always, for example, been the mark of a gentleman to lend public support to the established religion of his country—however strong his private doubts.”