The Riviera Set (Paperback)Mary S. Lovell (author)
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In those days before television and movies, the theatre was the only available public entertainment. Popular actors had the status of A-List celebrities and those at the top such as Henry Irving and Sarah Bernhardt, were as iconic to late Victorians as Elvis Presley or Marilyn Monroe would be in the following century. Maxine was yet to reach the top of this greasy pole, with the celebrity status that meant she had arrived, but she was on her way.
The Riviera Set is the story of the group of people who lived, partied, bed-hopped and politicked at the Chateau de l'Horizon near Cannes, over the course of forty years from the time when Coco Chanel made southern French tans fashionable in the twenties to the death of the playboy Prince Aly Khan in 1960.
At the heart of this was the amazing Maxine Elliott, the daughter of a fisherman from Connecticut, who built the beautiful art deco Chateau and brought together the likes of Noel Coward, the Aga Khan, the Windsors and two very saucy courtesans, Doris Castlerosse and Daisy Fellowes, who set out to be dangerous distractions to Winston Churchill as he worked on his journalism and biographies during his 'wilderness years' in the thirties.
After the War the story continued as the Chateau changed hands and Prince Aly Khan used it to entertain the Hollywood set, as well as launch his seduction of and eventual marriage to Rita Hayworth.
Mary Lovell tells her story of high society behaviour with tremendous brio and relish, and this book has all the charm and fascination of her bestselling The Mitford Girls and The Churchills.
Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group
Number of pages: 448
Weight: 374 g
Dimensions: 196 x 129 x 29 mm
'A blissful book. It's like basking in the warm Med.' - Rachel Johnson, Daily Mail
'Confiding and intimate… an illuminating read' - The Observer
'I loved every word.' - Sarra Manning, Red
Lovell dissects their lives and curates the interesting parts, bringing together the creme of high society. A sparkling group biography that brings to life a bygone era.' - The Lady
'Lovell wears her detailed research lightly and has produced a sprightly, well-paced account, rich in fascinating anecdote... an entertaining and zesty read.' - Sunday Express
'Lovell is superb on the great villas of the Riviera.' The Times
'[A] blissful book - it's like basking in the warm Med.' - Rachel Johnson, Mail on Sunday
'Mary S Lovell's social history is a meticulously researched and highly entertaining story about the characters who populated this decadent world . . . confiding and intimate, and it's an illuminating read.' - Hannah Beckerman, The Observer