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Enchantment: The Life of Audrey Hepburn [Paperback]

Donald Spoto
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
RRP: £8.99
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Book Description

7 Jun 2007

Born in Brussels in 1929, Audrey Hepburn was the daughter of a British father and a Dutch Baroness. But when she was five, her father deserted the family. With the outbreak of war in 1939, her mother thought they would be safer in Holland than Holland Park, but although they survived the German Occupation, the experience left its physical and emotional scars.

Back in England again, Audrey studied ballet with Marie Rambert. After a few West End musicals and minor film parts, she was spotted by the author, Colette, to star in a stage version of her novel, Gigi. And then Audrey's career took off. Her debut screen role was the Princess in the enchanting Roman Holiday. It won her an Oscar.

She went on to bring her unique grace and high spirits to a number of highly acclaimed films - from Funny Face and The Nun's Story to My Fair Lady, Breakfast at Tiffany's and Robin and Marian.

For a while it looked as though her personal life would follow the Hollywood dream. But her marriage to Mel Ferrer was not to last. She married and divorced a second time, and there were other passionate but short-lived affairs, some revealed for the first time in this book, but her relationships were never entirely successful.

With all the insight, background knowledge and innate sympathy for his subject, qualities that have made his biographies of Hitchcock, Dietrich, Monroe and Bergman such international successes, Donald Spoto truly captures the spirit of an elusive, beautiful, talented and vulnerable woman.


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Product details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Arrow; New Ed edition (7 Jun 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0099487047
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099487043
  • Product Dimensions: 2.3 x 12.8 x 19.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 65,754 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

"Spoto has a Hollywood knack of spinning a good yarn ... What he delivers, with great vim and verbal rhythm, is a portrait of a cherished actress who led a seemingly blameless life" (The Times)

"Immensely readable ... Donald Spoto captures the spirit of this enigmatic woman through her life and loves" (Daily Express)

"The enchantment survives, unalloyed" (Literary Review)

"Spoto's elegant prose is a perfect match for a subject who has always been a byword for elegance" (Sunday Times)

"Spoto's sympathetic but frank biography leaves her less of an enigma but her magic remains untarnished" (Sunday Tribune)

Book Description

A new, in-depth biography of the iconic actress by critically-acclaimed biographer Donald Spoto

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
60 of 62 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Enchantment: The Life of Audrey Hepburn 7 July 2006
Format:Hardcover
I waited in anticipation of this book only to feel somewhat deflated after I had read it. It is perhaps a good starting point to dip into if you are new to "Audrey" however it is lacking in substance for the more "seasoned" fan. Having read several biographies on this lady, the basic facts should of course be the same, (which they are in the main) however what you do seek perhaps is new, previously undisclosed material or else a different slant given from the author's own perspective. This book had little of either to offer the reader. There was also scarce mention of this elegant lady's world famous style and grace. "Enchantment is worth reading; there is nothing unpleasant about it, but you are left wondering what exactly is it's purpose given the plethora of biographies on Audrey Hepburn. Far better choices are Pamela Keogh's "Audrey Style", Audrey's own son's book "An Elegant Spirit" by Sean Hepburn Ferrer which offers warmly written "inside information" or for a good all encompassing, in-depth biography, Barry Paris' "Audrey Hepburn".
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By PetraE
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I've been a fan of Audrey Hepburn since I was very young and I have always admired her as an actor and as a human being. This is a very nice and well-written book that presents Audrey in a very respectful way. While we are certainly given details about her life as an actor and private person, we are also kept at a distance. I learned things about her life I did not know before, her experience during world war II being one, but after finishing the book I did not feel like the book had changed my own impression of her. She seemed a very genuine, kind and dignified person, and this is how she's presented in the book as well. If you're looking for a book with sordid detail about her life, then this probably isn't the book for you. If you already know a lot about Audrey, then this probably isn't the book for you either. But if you've watched some of her films, have been moved by her performances, and is curious about her life story, then this is definatley the book for you.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly addictive 25 Mar 2011
By Judith
Format:Hardcover
I was overjoyed to recieve this book as a christmas gift from my friend, I could add it to my Audrey Hepburn book collection - An Elegant Spirit, The Audrey Hepburn Treasures, A Life In Pictures: Audrey Hepburn, Audrey Hepburn (by Nick Yapp). Being an advanced Audrey fan - some say I'm 'obsessed' ;) it's difficult to come across new information particularly when I learn things about her all the time, be it from books, documentaries, films or the good ol' internet so I thought there wouldn't be much to learn from this book but that I would nevertheless enjoy reading it. However I was wrong, this book goes into detail, not as much detail as The Audrey Hepburn Treasures but still, about facts which you possibly would know - her romances and affairs for example. - I always knew about her romance with William Holden during the making of Sabrina but Spoto goes into depth and tells you little things you didn't know before. However it isn't as personal and charming as say her son's bio 'An Elegant Spirit' but her son Sean Ferrer wrote that - how more personal can biographies get?! Nevertheless it is still a delight to read I have just spent 3 hours reading it non-stop, learning new little bits and bobs about facts that I may have known before. Overall Spoto does a brilliant job of including detail and his hard work shows by the depth of his knowledge. I recommend any Audrey fan should buy this book, advanced or not.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars 2 July 2014
Format:Hardcover
fab read
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