Lesley Blanch’s memoirs, On The Wilder Shores of Love: A Bohemian Life, published posthumously by Virago, will now be available in paperback. Join Lennie Goodings, Anne Sebba and others for an evening celebrating Trailblazing Women of the 20th Century @WaterstonesPicc
Anne Sebba & Georgia de Chamberet will discuss the bohemian life of Lesley Blanch at Waterstones, Piccadilly, London W1, Thursday 12 January, 7pm.
This event is free, but please reserve your place by email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Editor, translator and literary consultant, Georgia de Chamberet founded BookBlast® writing agency in 1997. She is Lesley Blanch’s god-daughter.
Daily Telegraph: This volume, edited with affection and grace by de Chamberet, is a deliciously readable monument to a writer who combined a steely resilience and capacity for hard work with an elegant frivolity and a voracious appetite for love, beauty and adventure.
The Independent:This sumptuous and captivating collection of Blanch’s work includes some of her travel writing, her memoirs of growing up in Chiswick at the turn of the century, pieces written as British Vogue’s features editor during the Second World War, and a narrative of her marriage to the diplomat and novelist Romain Gary, including their life in Hollywood in the 1950s and portraits of the great and the good she crossed paths with.
Australian Financial Review: A flamboyant and iconic writer who mixed travel memoir, scholarship and romance in a passionate, heady cocktail.
Author, presenter and lecturer, Anne Sebba’s most recent and highly-acclaimed biographical work is Les Parisiennes: How the Women of Paris Lived, Loved and Died in the 1940s — the first in-depth account of the everyday lives of women and young girls in wartime Paris under Nazi occupation.
The Guardian: Among the many remarkable portraits of famous French women [. . .] are two that stand out: Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel and Geneviève de Gaulle. Anne Sebba’s account of the French women who dared to say “no” to the Nazis is compelling.
The Times: This is a valuable book, not least because it doesn’t shy away from the physical misery of women’s lives — the indignity of having a period in camps with no sanitary protection, the abortionists who were put to death under Vichy while prostitution was legal, the children who died because their mothers were too weak to breastfeed. Although Sebba salutes the bravery of Les Parisiennes, such as Geneviève de Gaulle, who made great sacrifices to resist the enemy, she is careful not to condemn the ones who chose simply to survive. ..To read this book is to admire female bravery and resilience, but also to understand why the scars left by the Second World War still run so deep.
The Spectator: Anne Sebba’s fascinating and beautifully written study gives voice to a myriad of narratives belonging to the Parisian women who resisted, collaborated, flourished, suffered, died or survived through a mixture of defiance and compromise. Their options were limited not only by Nazi ideology and French social expectation, but also by material need and the other perverting conditions that came with occupation. ‘C’est compliqué’ is a common refrain running through these pages. What was consistent was that the burden of decision fell on women.
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