Hannah Rothschild and Simon Sebag Montefiore
Monday, September 18, 2023
Free Virtual Event
Wealth has its privileges. Title has its privileges. And when a once enormously powerful family in England loses the former, hell breaks out for the latter. Philanthropist, author, and filmmaker Hannah Rothschild, is of course familiar with both wealth and privilege. In her new novel, High Time, Rothschild features a family on the precipice of ruin, living in an ancient, once glorious castle that has already fallen off that precipice. The roof leaks. Nothing works. The children are elite brats. There’s barely enough money for school tuition. Who will rescue the Trelawneys from decades of bad investments and living above their means?
Rothschild’s novel is a gleeful send up of eccentric aristocrats struggling to maintain their dignity, social standing — and ancestral castles. New money is disgraceful, but how can they manage without it? The neighboring titled toffs are necessary, but unbearable. High Times satirizes the rigidity and inanity of the ruling class, as well as the vulgarity of the ultra rich social climbers. Rothschild’s earlier novels have won prestigious prizes and nominations. They are enormously fun and have induced periods of binge reading.
In conversation with the incomparable scholar and raconteur, Simon Sebag Montefiore. Montefiore is a biographer and historian, and recently appeared at Writers Bloc for his singular epic history of the world, The World: A Family History of Humanity. One presumes that both Simon and Hannah spent time in their youth at castles such as the one featured in High Time.