To say this is not a political autobiography would be an understatement. In fact, the author reckons it is not an autobiography at all. This book is more Downton Abbey than 10 Downing Street. It traces Earl Ferrers' aristocratic upbringing in the 1930s in the stately surroundings of Staunton Harold through his wartime childhood, national service in the jungle of Malaya, Cambridge in the 1950s and finally his life immersed in the political world. Robert Shirley was a government minister in every Conservative Government from Macmillan to Major and he has some hilarious tales to tell. Robert Shirley is the thirteenth Earl Ferrers and he writes amusingly and movingly about his twelve predecessors, one of whom committed suicide 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.