The Art of Conversation by Catherine Blyth

Or, What to Say, and When

Every day we use our mobiles and computers to communicate, but ironically we are losing touch with face-to-face talk.

Catherine Blyth reveals the endless possibilities of conversation and shows that when it works it can come close to heaven.

With examples from Elizabeth I to Tommy Cooper, courtesans to nomads, The Art of Conversation is full of tips on listening, the perfect handshake, talking shop and surviving conversational bores. Be it sharing a joke with a stranger, sparking a new idea or just letting off steam with a friend, there are infinite adventures to be had if you break the ice and say hello …


‘It is a treasure trove of literary and historical delights, with each page containing a little gem in the form of a quotation or a factoid’ — Independent on Sunday

‘Witty, charming and appropriately garrulous … it shamed me into wanting tomend my own, lumpen, non-conversational ways and pull my speech-relatedsocks up…this smart little book should be in every house like Gideonbibles in hotel rooms’ — Mail on Sunday

‘A bit of fun by a young genius. The Art of Conversation … is a witty meditation uponall aspects of talk … if you give to a friend it will itself provoke hours of amusing chat as you read out her jokes and her wisdom’ — A.N. Wilson

‘Blending science with psychology and philosophy with literature, she argues the case for banter and badinage. It’s free, fun and gets your brain cells firing like the prettiest of firework displays’ — Marie Claire

‘I tried my hardest to dislike The Art of Conversation, but it’s hard to dislike anything that quotes Chanelle from Big Brother in the same breath as Andrew Marvell and Henry James’ — Guardian ‘Everybody will read it, but pretend they haven’t’ — Observer

‘As Woodrow Wilson once opined of the US President Warren Harding, I am simply in possession of ‘a bungalow mind’. I hope that reading The Art of Conversation has furnished me with a staircase or two’ — Observer

‘A witty, entertaining guide, much praised’ — Bookseller ‘Modern man – and woman – have forgotten how to engage larynx and ears. Catherine Blyth teaches the lost art with wit and charm’ — Harry Mount, author of AMO, AMAS, AMAT … AND ALL THAT

‘Brings a professional sensibility to the topic’ — Scotland on Sunday

‘It’s fun, it’s fresh and it’s flirty — all the things it teaches that we can be, if only we master the art of conversation’ — The Resident

‘A witty and thoroughly entertaining guide to the noble art of conversation’ — Katie Hickman ‘Get off that bloody computer and read this bloody great book. Reclaim the orgasmic pleasures of a bloody good conversation. Don’t let modern technology turn you into an uncommunicative ninny: ingest this book and start conversing … and then start living’ — Simon Doonan, author of ECCENTRIC GLAMOUR

‘This is a gushingly erudite, high-spirited and enjoyably bossy book … a lot of wit and wisdom’ — Literary Review ‘The book offers a host of delightful tips on listening, talking shop and even surviving conversational bores’ — Diplomat

‘Blyth is a passionate talker, and here she takes us on an entertaining tour of the art of proper conversation … you’ll never be at a loss for words at those awkward socials again!’ — Glamour

‘Her book, The Art of Conversation, is a rallying cry for this neglected yet vital pleasure’ — Psychologies


Catherine Blyth is a writer and editor. She spent several years at Fourth Estate, working on literary and commercial fiction, and a range of non-fiction.

Since leaving Fourth Estate she has written scripts for the BBC and Channel 5, and contributed to national publications including the Daily Telegraph and The Times.

Her first book, The Art of Conversation, is published by John Murray and Gotham (an imprint of Penguin US), and will be translated into five languages. She is writing her next book.


Format: Paperback, 304 pages
Published In: United Kingdom, 03 September 2009
Publisher: John Murray Publishers Ltd
ISBN: 184854166X
EAN: 9781848541665
Dimensions: 19.0 x 129.0 x 2.0 centimeters (0.20 kg)