Young man in the sun

Screen Shot 2015-11-29 at 08.08.39Peter Greave, writes Dalrymple, was born in India

to a father with a large and expansive personality, an infinite capacity to delude himself and others about business schemes that varied from the merely fantastic to the outright fraudulent, and an unfortunate propensity for sexual exhibitionism. He would disappear for long periods, deserting his family, and then reappear unexpectedly.

Screen Shot 2015-11-29 at 08.08.59Greave’s mother

was utterly devoted to her husband even though he proved himself unworthy of her over and over.


spent time in orphanages and in various down-at-heel and cruel boarding schools in the India of the Raj. His escape from one of them reads like an adventure story. His education was spotty, interrupted and short; his subsequent life in India, going from one absurd job to another, was rackety, unstable and precarious, and yet he was happy.

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