e a m harris

Roaming the byways of literature

Reading backlog – ‘Life’s Rich Pageant’ by Arthur Marshall

I don’t know how long I’ve had this book. It came to light when we moved house. It was Lifes Rich pageant coverpublished in 1984 but I don’t think I’ve had it anything like that long. It’s probably one I picked up in a charity shop or event. Forgotten it may have been, but having found it, I’m grateful for it. It’s a charming read.

It’s Arthur Marshall‘s autobiography, up to the point where he started appearing on Call My Bluff. If you’ve never seen this, you’ve missed a treat. It’s a TV quiz about words and their meanings and is peopled by entertaining broadcasters and their guests.

It’s a book of smiles. Despite the quotes from the famous on the cover claiming it to be hilarious there were only a few places where I laughed out loud. But there was a smile, not to say a grin, in almost every paragraph.

The world the author grew up in, starting before WW1, is long gone, but appreciation of the humour in life transcends time.  Mr Marshall certainly saw humour wherever he went. A tendency to laugh at the slightest excuse got him into trouble several times.

He introduces an array of characters, famous and unknown, and we learn nice things about all of them – if the author knew any horrid people he didn’t write about them.

His life was varied and eventful, including several jobs, service in WW2, a devotion to the theatre both professional and amateur and a lot of broadcasting.

I recommend this book to anyone who likes to smile broadly, laugh loudly and see the nice side of their fellow people.

Picture from ebay.


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2 thoughts on “Reading backlog – ‘Life’s Rich Pageant’ by Arthur Marshall

  1. Chris Mills on said:

    I used to love ‘Call my Bluff’! Mind you, I can’t say that I ever managed to figure out many of the word bluffs.


    • It’s great to hear from a fellow ‘Call My Bluff’ fan. I, too, rarely managed to guess which was bluff, but I loved those wild fibs “If you’d lived in Patagonia in the tenth century you would have been the proud owner of …”.


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