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The Empress of Ireland Hardcover – Large Print, 1 Apr 2005

4.6 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews

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Hardcover, Large Print, 1 Apr 2005
£11.99
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 385 pages
  • Publisher: ISIS Large Print Books; large type edition edition (April 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 075319984X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0753199848
  • Product Dimensions: 23.6 x 15.7 x 4.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,096,535 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

'A beautifully written memoir . . . Hilarious' -- Sunday Telegraph

'Christopher Robbins is an excellent writer and has drawn an accurate picture of an extremely talented and extraordinary fantasist' -- Sir Roger Moore

'Generous in spirit, witty, unexpected and beautifully written . . . Enthralling' -- Miranda Seymour

'Magnificent . . . endlessly funny and brilliantly colourful . . . Something of a masterpiece' -- Guardian

'Recommended . . . Delightful and often hilariously funny' -- Mail on Sunday

'Storytelling at its best . . . Well written and engagingly funny . . . Thoroughly enjoyable' -- Scotland on Sunday

'This affectionate memoir [will] outrage prudes but delight everybody else' -- Independent on Sunday

'Unique and hilarious . . . truly delumptious and exotic . . . A scoundrel of a good read' -- Richard E. Grant

'Vivid and hilarious . . . deserves to become a classic' -- Sunday Times

'Wonderfully rich and vivid . . . perfectly pitched: full of deadpan comedy, but also shrewd and warm-hearted' -- William Boyd --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Back Cover

Further advance praise for THE EMPRESS OF IRELAND:

‘This enthralling memoir tells the true story of a young writer, at a formative time of his life, who goes to work for a brilliant and capricious film director nearing the end of his career. A delightful, funny and ultimately touching book, full of nostalgia and truth about their odd but gratifying friendship’
JONATHAN LYNN

‘Absolutely wonderful. THE EMPRESS OF IRELAND made me feel so much better about life: such a loving testament to an amazing character and a deep, if unusual friendship. Funny and moving, yet not at all sentimental. And what an incredible cast of characters and series of events. Above all, it is quite beautifully written’
JOHN McCARTHY --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I never read biographies. But having picked this up from a friend's desk, was completely hooked by page 10 and after a short tussle about who got to take it home, ended up buying my own copy that night.
THE EMPRESS OF IRELAND is sweet, funny, absorbing and as sharp and insightful a study of two people (the subject and the author) as you could find. The story (stories) draws you into the life of an entertaining eccentric and his youthful amanuensis (Robbins) in a most seductive way and you end up rooting for a happy outcome like a child yearning for Batman to break free from his captors.
Most of us have lived lives blissfully ignorant of Brian Desmond Hurst, the flamboyant subject of the book, and the measure of the author's success is that the veil of ignorance is lifted on very much more than a single person. It's wise and charming (did I say "charming" already? "Charm" always seems to be damning with faint praise when, in fact, its a rare commodity in a good read) and complete in its modest thought delightful ambitions. A little classic of biography. I'll have to look for another one now.
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Format: Paperback
Brian Desmond Hurst was a wonderfully exotic character, highly talented and, clearly, a most colourful companion. We should be very grateful to Christopher Robbins for bringing him back from the relative obscurity into which his reputation has fallen with the passage of time. He describes their eccentric friendship so successfully that one feels on reading this excellent book that one has actually met and known his subject. I recommend it unconditionally to anyone who enjoys classic films and who likes to spend time in amusing, and often surprising, company.
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Format: Paperback
A delightful book which opens a window onto an almost vanished age of artistic endeavour and immoderate drinking. Ostensibly a biography of Ireland's forgotten film-maker, Brian Desmond Hurst, the book is in truth a study of benign patronage and friendship which takes the reader by surprise with its frankness and humour. The narrative is organised around the writing and planning of Hurst's valedictory move - which was never made. There are fine books about finished films but those about un-achieved 'masterpieces' make for more rewarding reading since they allow greater scope for the exercise of fantasy - the key element of Hurst's life and indeed of every great artist.
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By A Customer on 12 May 2004
Format: Paperback
The Empress of Ireland is a great book. It's far more than a biography, it's a portrait of a time, of an artist, and of an unusual and long-lasting friendship. It is warm, funny, (very funny), and poignant. It shows a man of wit and talent surviving with style in spite of many disadvantages. My greatest pleasure in reading the book was in the affection and tolerance the author and his subject had for each other. It is beautifully written and I defy anyone to get beyond the first chapter without longing to get back to it. It is a fabulous journey, one of those books you don't want to finish because it has become such a friend. Buy it, read it, buy it again, and give it to all your friends.
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Format: Paperback
Robbins' memoir of his friendship with Brian Desmond Hurst, a fiercely talented Irish film director, is brilliantly funny, deeply moving and reads like a page-turning, beautifully written novel. The two men met when Robbins was a strugging young journalist of 27 and Hurst, at 80, was in the twilight of both his life and career. Robbins was hired to write a film the director had no intention of making. Instead of being given a paycheck the author was rewarded by something far richer - the friendship of a grand and vanishing breed. While reading this book I laughed out loud, I cried and when I finished felt envious of the author's experience and wanted to start reading it again.
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By A Customer on 24 April 2004
Format: Paperback
Where to begin?? A memoir, a biography, a book about the movie business, ameditation on friendship, this book is all of these things and yet so muchmore. It is also hilariously funny. It basically tells the story of whathappened when the author came into the orbit of the film director BrianDesmond Hurst, a larger than life character with whom there was never adull moment. Robbins describes their adventures with wonderful warmth andhumour, but it is the final pages about how Brian enriched his life andwhat their friendship meant that will bring a tear to your eye. Just awonderful, joyful, life-affirming book.
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By A Customer on 10 May 2004
Format: Paperback
A wonderful story of an era when literature, education, manners and humor were valued.So very Irish in the apparent acceptance of opposing values ofr the protagonist and the mores of the age.
Marvellous dialogue- remarkable recollections of a wildly talented eccentric.
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By Mrs. K. A. Wheatley TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 21 Sept. 2008
Format: Paperback
I knew nothing at all about Brian Desmond Hurst before reading this book, which considering his pedigree in British cinema history is quite astonishing. He is, as Robbins describes him, a man who outlived his fame.

Robbins book tries to address that by creating a biography that is as idiosyncratic as the personality of the man himself. It is fascinating, not only for the sheer quantity of films he made, but the people he knew and the experiences he packed into his long life. This is a book that makes name dropping into an art form.

I enjoyed it thoroughly and found it incredibly readable. An unexpected pleasure of a book.
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