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Being George Devine's Daughter [Paperback]

Harriet Devine
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Book Description

1 Mar 2006
Peggy Ashcroft's god-daughter was conceived on a sofa at the home of Laurence Olivier and Vivien Leigh. Her parents had fallen in love during John Gielgud's Oxford production of Romeo and Juliet. Her father George Devine was to become the first artistic director of the Royal Court Theatre, and her mother Sophie was a celebrated stage designer, working under the name of Motley. Being George Devine's Daughter tells the story of their daughter Harriet's early life. The post-war years, the 50s and 60s of her childhood and adolescence were exciting times that brought many changes, both in the theatre and in society as a whole. Her book touches on these, but above all it turns the spoltlight away from theatrical and public events to illuminate the domestic and personal lives of her family, their friends and associates. Honest, humorous and moving, Being George Devine's Daughter is much more than a collection of theatrical anecdotes. Harriet Devine reassesses her childhood memories in the light of her life today in a way which will encourage us to do the same. Lavishly illustrated with many contemporary photographs, and containing a number of George Devine's unpublished letters, this book is a unique and valuable resource for anyone researchng theatre history of this important period.

Product details

  • Paperback: 196 pages
  • Publisher: Barkus Books in association with Exposure Publishing; First Edition edition (1 Mar 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0954613619
  • ISBN-13: 978-0954613617
  • Product Dimensions: 22.4 x 15.2 x 1.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,340,015 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Harriet Devine was brought up in London, by parents who worked in the theatre. She's written about her eventful childhood (which begins with her conception on Laurence Olivier's sofa) in her memoir, Being George Devine's Daughter. She spent a number of years as an academic, teaching English Literature, but now lives in rural France, surrounded by green fields, and enjoys the ups and downs of expat life, which feature in her first work of fiction, The Expat Murders. A second volume of this is now underway.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Very well written and absorbing account of the author's life as George Devine's daughter. Perfect for all those researching the actualities of George Devine the man and his relationships and work with so many key personalities of the time.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fascinating portrait 11 Aug 2006
By Rob Spence VINE VOICE
This is a marvellously evocative account of life in the 50s and 60s by someone who knew many of the leading figures in the theatrical world of the time. The book is distinguished by its frankness - Harriet Devine doesn't shrink from revealing painful facts about herself and her family, and also provides some wicked anecdotes about the various famous people she encountered. The photos, many of them unseen before, are a great bonus.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must-read! 7 Mar 2006
By A Customer
This book sheds light on a really fascinating subject. It brings to life the exciting era just after the war when British theatre became radicalised and influential throughout the world. The key character, George Devine, is brought to life with much tenderness and insight, and a wry sense of humour. The style is clear and lucid and full of entertaining anecdotes and glimpses into the motives and lives of many of the major players in theatre at that period, including Laurence Olivier, John Gielgud and Peggy Ashcroft. The book will also be of interest to students of theatre design as the author's mother and aunt, Sophie and Margaret Harris, worked as Motley, a stage design team who changed the face of theatre and film design in the twentieth century. Highly recommended.
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