Erotic Vagrancy (Hardback)
  • Erotic Vagrancy (Hardback)
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Erotic Vagrancy (Hardback)

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Hardback 656 Pages
Published: 26/10/2023
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Waterstones Says

This magisterial biography of Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton doubles as a captivating study in fame, creativity and grand passion, tracing the couple’s at times triumphant at times tragic relationship in a world filled with of jewels, vodka and yachts as well as violence and recrimination.

Thirteen years in the writing, Erotic Vagrancy doesn't only surpass every other biography of Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton yet to appear, this rich, vital and passionately articulated book, which is as extravagant and wayward as its two subjects, is also about celebrity, creativity, being flawed, being brilliant, sexuality, the intermingling of a low and a highbrow existence, pride, insecurity, attraction and repulsion, and devilry.

We see Taylor the child actress exchanging dogs and horses for husbands. We see Burton emerging from the mists and brimstone of Wales to be the greatest theatrical animal of his generation. The pair come together in Rome during the making of Cleopatra, which gives Lewis the opportunity for a major farcical set-piece. We then enter a world of jewels and private jets, vodka, yachts and furs - the splendid vulgarity of the Sixties, where the narrative of Taylor and Burton becomes a Pop Art story.

Then, inevitably, it all goes wrong, with alcoholism, violence, recrimination and divorce ( twice ) - with Burton, whom Lewis depicts as a Faustus figure, damned by fame, dead at fifty-eight.

Publisher: Quercus Publishing
ISBN: 9780857381729
Number of pages: 656
Weight: 1080 g
Dimensions: 236 x 164 x 56 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS

Thirteen years in the writing, Erotic Vagrancy doesn't only surpass every other biography of Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton yet to appear, this rich and articulate book is also about celebrity, creativity, being flawed and being brilliant. - Belfast Telegraph

It is one of the very best biographies I have ever read. One of the best books about fame, desire, Hollywood and mid-to-late twentieth-century culture ever written. Inside which, brilliant, hilarious and sensitive insights on allmanner of subject fizz and froth. Magnificent, terrible, tragic, triumphant. - Stephen Fry

Lewis' prose, so electrifying, so funny, so sharp, so unsolemn, always going in unexpected directions, and with all those hilarious asides. Erotic Vagrancy gave me a week of pure joy - Craig Brown

A hot thunderstorm of a book - David Hare

Unputdownable - Tony Palmer

Fascinating and hilarious . . . The joy is in the writing and the writing is joyful . . . The boldness of Lewis's writing is perfectly suited to the charisma of his subjects. - Hadley Freeman, Sunday Times

As extravagant and uncompromising as its badly behaved stars. - Observer

Lewis's magnum opus is a masterpiece in a genre of his own invention. - The Times

He is a genius writer . . . - brilliant, witty, exhilarating, and a fund of good stories. - The Telegraph

A wonderful book . . . so deliciously written . . . Erotic Vagrancy is the biography of the year. Correction. It's the book of the year and then some - Mail on Sunday

A dionysiac humdinger. - Spectator (Duncan Fallowell Book of the Year)

The 'battling Burtons' Liz Taylor and Richard Burton were the most glamorous celebrity couple ever. Passionately devoted to each other, the high life and - fatally - the bottle, this fascinating account of their love affair is gripping stuff. - New Statesman

Stupendous book - Scotsman

This eccentric, baroque and often funny book, full of riffs, asides and venom, is a study of megastardom, excess and monstrous personalities. - Robbie Millen, The Times

Tantalising - Sunday Independent

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“Superb biography of a tempestuous relationship”

I really enjoyed this book.

It is about Taylor and Burton as individuals and comes at you from the very unique standpoint of a “luvie” telling a story. This makes the book very readable and engrossing.

The book is... More

Hardback edition
Helpful? Upvote 4

“Elizabeth and Richard and Roger too...”

There have over the years been many, many books, newspaper articles even pronouncements from the Vatican written about this mesmeric couple and yet it has taken till now I feel for one to really do them justice and... More

Hardback edition
Helpful? Upvote 2

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