In his final novel, Rainbow People, Nicholas Mosley offers us the distinctly twenty-first-century story of a holy family. A man, a woman, and a child walk together along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea, near the border between Greece and Macedonia. They watch as a film is made about the refugee crisis on the beach. While the mother and father, joined by the filmmaker, contemplate the meaning of the crisis, the limited powers of art, the greater powers of fear and faith, the child explores, plays, and constantly transforms before their eyes. Months later, the family travels from their home in England to Calais, France, where an enormous refugee camp called “the Jungle” has sprung up. Here, in this unlikely place, the child shows the adults a graceful way to face the future. Mosley’s Rainbow People is a masterful, powerful book about borders, politics, and hope.
Born in London, Mosley was educated at Eton and Balliol College, Oxford and served in Italy during the Second World War, winning the Military Cross for bravery. He succeeded as 3rd Baron Ravensdale in 1966 and, on the death of his father on December 3, 1980, he also succeeded to the Baronetcy. His father, Sir Oswald Mosley, founded the British Union of Fascists in 1932 and was a supporter of Benito Mussolini. Sir Oswald was arrested in 1940 for his antiwar campaigning, and spent the majority of World War II in prison. As an adult, Nicholas was a harsh critic of his father in “Beyond the Pale: Sir Oswald Mosley and Family 1933-1980″ (1983), calling into question his father’s motives and understanding of politics. Nicholas’s work contributed to the 1998 Channel 4 television program titled Mosley based on his father’s life. At the end of the mini-series, Nicholas is portrayed meeting his father in prison to ask him about his national allegiance. Mosley began to stammer as a young boy, and attended weekly sessions with speech therapist Lionel Logue in order to help him overcome the speech disorder. Mosley says his father claimed never really to have noticed his stammer, but feels Sir Oswald may have been less aggressive when speaking to him than he was towards other people as a result.