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When Groucho Marx lectured T.S. Eliot

The most vocal of the Marx Brothers disliked his comic persona and preferred reading, writing and the company of poets to showbiz

27 February 2016

9:00 AM

27 February 2016

9:00 AM

Groucho Marx: The Comedy of Existence Lee Siegel

Yale, pp.162, £16.99, ISBN: 9780300174458

Groucho Marx was delighted when he heard that the script for one of his old Vaudeville routines was being reprinted in H.L. Mencken’s The American Language. ‘Nothing I ever did as an actor thrilled me more,’ he said. Indeed, argues Lee Siegel in his brief biographical study of the most verbal Marx Brother, Groucho’s ‘greatest regret in life … was that he had become an entertainer rather than a literary man’.

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Available from the Spectator Bookshop, £16.99 Tel: 08430 600033.  Christopher Bray has written biographies of Sean Connery and Michael Caine.

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