I’m currently reading The Letters of Noel Coward by Barry Day and would recommend it to anyone interested in satire, history, the theater, history of the theater, really enormously talented people, etc. I knew Coward was a genius, but had no idea he was such a decent, honest and honorable man. Of course he was “coarse” as hell in his private life, which made him all the more appealing to me (probably better mention that to my therapist). The “flippant playboy” persona masked a very deeply held philosophy of personal integrity and actually served well as cover for clandestine intelligence activities Coward undertook on behalf of the British government during World War II–activities he got no credit for until shortly before his death. He was no starry-eyed idealist, though, and certainly had no intention of denying himself the finer things in life, but he understood what was important and he came through when it mattered.