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'Charmed Life' The Phenomenal World of Philip Sassoon

June 2016

On the 7th June, Politician Damian Collins, MP discussed his new biography of Sir Philip Sassoon, Charmed Life. Sir Philip, a glamorous and pivotal figure, was known for hosting legendary parties which brought together politicians, artists and thinkers during the autumn days of British imperial power. Damian was in conversation with literary agent Diane Banks and unveiled the story of this fascinating character, who Noel Coward once called ‘a phenomenon that would never recur’.

Damian Collins, MP read Modern History at Oxford University and worked at the M&C Saatchi advertising agency before entering national politics and being elected as Conservative MP for Folkestone and Hythe in 2010, and as such is writing about someone who did the same job as him 100 years previously.

Charmed Life is his first book, and is the only biography of the famed aesthete Sir Philip Sassoon . Damian’s experience in politics gives him personal insights into the equivalent world today that Philip Sassoon inhabited 100 years ago. This includes, as a member of the Culture Media and Sport Select Committee, relations between politicians and the media and between government and the arts. Like Philip Sassoon, Damian has a strong interest in culture and the arts. Damian co-founded the Conservative Arts and Creative Industries Network and is a strong supporter of the Creative Foundation in Folkestone and the Folkestone Triennial Arts festival. Additionally he is Chairman of ‘Step Short’, Folkestone’s First World War centenary charity.