When Raymond Massey was born, his family was at the pinnacle of Toronto society: the family mansion on Jarvis Street was busy with maids, grooms and other servants--at the age of five, Raymond was driven the two short blocks to school every morning by the family coachman.
With an actor's gift of photographic memory, Raymond recalls this early life in brilliant detail--childish pranks, school at Upper Canada College, family outings in Muskoka and Atlantic City, trips to Europe. Nor does he neglect the grim realities of the age: the tragic, early death of his mother, the outbreak of the Great War. Recollection of his own experience of the Western Front--fighting in the trenches, suffering shellshock, ending up with the Canadian army in Siberia--are especially harrowing. After the war he travels to Oxford, back to Toronto--and suddenly decides to throw aside the family business to bcome an actor. "What name will you use?" asks his supercilious older brother, Vincent.
When I Was Young offers a witty, urbane glimpse into the private life of Canada's upper class sixy years ago--when there was no family more establishment than the Masseys.
About the author
RAYMOND MASSEY was born in Toronto and educated at the University of Toronto and at Oxford. After serving as an officer in the First World War he pursued an acting career, rising to international fame on stage and screen. He died in 1983.
"Raymond Massey recalls his youth with Edwardian charm and eloquence. His autobiography is an authentic evocation of his early life and times."
"Opens the door on one of Canada's most famous and wealthiest families. The Masseys were millionaires before the Eatons opened their first store."