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Three Queer Lives: An Alternative Biography of Fred Barnes, Naomi Jacob and Arthur Marshall

This work presents the stories of two remarkable men and an extraordinary woman, and how they lived in an age when gayness was reviled and outlawed. Paul Bailey's interest in Naomi Jacob was awakened in 1959, when he waited on her in Harrods's book department under the impression that she was J.B. Priestley. "Micky" Jacob was the author of dozens of bestselling novels, and several volumes of autobiography, which can be found today in charity shops. Fred Barnes, who survived an attempted murder by his father, was a singer, dancer and light comedian at the beginning of the century. His is a classic riches-to-rags story, his downfall foreshadowed by two very public events. Arthur Marshall who completes the trio, is the sunniest presence here, chuckling his way through the World War II and becoming a much-loved television personality in old age. In a personal introduction, Paul Bailey describes how he came to be fascinated by these very different human beings, all gay in more senses than one.

'An engaging book' - London Review of Books

'Gentle, wise and funny' - Times Literary Supplement

'Touching and heartbreakingly funny' - The Sunday Times

'A generous-spirited and fascinating book' - The Times

'Enjoyable and well written' - AN Wilson, The Daily Mail

'Admirably well-judged' - Evening Standard

'Their life-stories are packed with rude jokes, great anecdotes and amusing detail' - Sunday Telegraph

'All three of these intrepid performers would surely tip their hats to Bailey’s entertaining and unsettling tribute to their courage, impudence and panache' - The Telegraph

'Very funny but there is sadness too' - The Independent on Sunday

'Bailey’s book extacts a lot of fun from this trio; but he also sympathetically brings out their valour' - The Spectator

'Well written and triumphantly unsentimental' - Literary Review

Author: Paul Bailey
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