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I sizzle to see you

John Lahr: Cole Porter’s secret songs

19 November 2019
The Letters of Cole Porter 
edited by Cliff Eisen and Dominic McHugh.
Yale, 672 pp., £25, October 2019, 978 0 300 21927 2
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... Of​ the many remedies Cole Porter used to kill pain – boys, drink, luxury – the most powerful was song. In October 1937, at the age of 46, out for an early morning canter at the Piping Rock Club in Locust Valley, New York, Porter lost his stirrups when his horse spooked at a bush and fell on him, crushing both his legs. He gave his crippled legs nicknames: ‘Josephine’ was the obliging left one; the right, ‘Geraldine’, ‘a hellion, a bitch a psychopath’, was amputated mid-thigh in 1958 ...

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