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Being George Devine's Daughter Paperback – 1 Mar 2006

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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: 15.2 x 1.1 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,497,916 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.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Memoirs are by definition rather self-focussed , but the author in this case goes a little farther than most in her examination of her younger self and her complex relationship with her talented parents, one of who was the highly regarded theatre director and actor, George Devine. The memoir ends in the year of George Devine's death, 1966, and I found myself disappointed to be at the end, and very keen to learn more, to continue with Harriet Devine's story. It's a triple biography, really - of George the fond and eventually rather distant father, of Harriet the only child yearning for more of her parents' time and affection (for though loving and involved parents they were first and foremost devoted to each other, and to their respective artistic callings), and of Harriet's mother Sophie Harris, the celebrated dress designer and theatrical costumer, ten years older than George and his first great love. Grand vignettes of the British theatre scene of the 1940s, 50s, and 60s, and a poignant and frank coming-of-age narrative, documented from the wise perspective of four decades onward. Excerpts from personal letters and a generous array of photos enhance this very readable book. Of equal interest to the theatre historian and to anyone who enjoys a well-written memoir.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 7 Mar. 2006
Format: Paperback
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By David Burrows on 4 Dec. 2012
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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 By Rob Spence VINE VOICE on 11 Aug. 2006
Format: Paperback
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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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Lovely book. Gentle, compassionate, honest. And all the more moving for being unpretentious. If you want to know the inside story of the theatre revolution of the 50's & 60's, this is for you.
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