This is the extraordinary life story of Robert Shirley, the thirteenth Earl Ferrers, tracing his aristocratic upbringing in the 1930s through his wartime childhood, national service in the jungle of Malaya, Cambridge in the 1950s and finally his life a government minister in every Conservative Government from Macmillan to Major. More importantly, he has some hilariously off-the-wall tales to tell. Often including hiding fish in the Chief Whip's briefcase. Earl Ferrers writes amusingly and movingly about his twelve predecessors, one of whom was hanged after he shot his manservant. His at times hilarious accounts of his careers in farming, business and politics have the reader crying tears of both joy and sadness as he relates the bizarre events in his political life, and some of his family tragedies. When his fellow members of the House of Lords voted which 92 hereditary peers to keep, Earl Ferrers topped the vote. Reading this book, it is easy to see why. Always enjoying a sense of the ridiculous, and with the ability to write with humour and charm, he is without question the most popular member of the current House of Lords. This book shows why.
It contains dozens of reminiscences from a life well led. It's seeringly honest, painfully blunt, but at all times retains the author's supreme sense of charm and elegance.
Robert Washington Shirley, 13th Earl Ferrers served in five British governments under Prime Minsters. In 1999 he one of the 92 elected hereditary peers to remain in the House of Lords pending completion of House of Lords reform.