Thom Geier
April 20, 2007 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Too Close to the Sun

type
Book
Current Status
In Season
author
Sara Wheeler
publisher
Random House
genre
Biography, Nonfiction

We gave it an A-

Denys Finch Hatton is best known as the golden-boy Brit who wooed writer Karen Blixen in early-20th-century Kenya; latter-day golden-boy Robert Redford played him in the 1985 film Out of Africa. Finch Hatton was one of the last gentleman adventurers, a BMOC at Eton and Oxford who oozed charm, inspiring camaraderie in men, lust in women, and affection in class-conscious subordinates. Too Close to the Sun, Sara Wheeler’s fascinating, witty bio reveals her wonderful eye for telling details, from Finch Hatton’s self-consciousness about his early baldness to an eccentric baroness’ stipulation that she (and her coffin) arrive late to her own funeral.

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