`I don't know what London's coming to - the higher the buildings, the lower the morals.' NOEL COWARD
In the same vein as his best-selling Beautiful Idiots and Brilliant Lunatics, Rob Baker's High Buildings, Low Morals is a captivating and enticing insight into the strange and fabulous characters who inhabited an intoxicating, glamorous and sometimes dangerous London now lost forever.
Coward himself appears now and then amongst the tales of West End showgirls, gangsters, dubious politicians, Soho porn-barons and beautiful Mayfair actresses and debutantes addicted to excess. Baker unearths the connection between the sexually voracious Duchess of Argyll, her headless polaroids and Mussolini; the sad death of Billie Carleton amongst the opium orgies and cocaine parties during the aftermath of the First World War; the hidden truth of the charming bisexual Lord Boothby and his friend Ronnie Kray; the scandal of the electrifying Tallulah Bankhead and the Eton schoolboys; the hilarious OZ trial, John Lennon and the downfall of the `Dirty Squad'; the link between U-boat 35, James Bond and the IRA Balcombe Street Gang; Soho, Italian fascists and the rise and fall of Jessie Matthews; and Graham Greene's wartime search for food and love amongst shattered shards of glass during one extraordinary night of the Blitz.