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Far to Go and Many to Love: People and Places Hardcover – 1 Jun 2017
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Praise for On the Wilder Shores of Love... 'Sumptuous and captivating' --Independent
'Lesley Blanch was incapable of writing boringly or badly' --Spectator
About the Author
Lesley Blanch MBE was born in London in 1904. She spent the greater part of her life travelling to places as far flung as Russia, North Africa and the Middle East and writing about her experiences in books and for publications such as Vogue, The Sunday Times, The Observer and Country Life. She died in 2007 at the age of 103. Her posthumous memoirs, On the Wilder Shores of Love: A Bohemian Life, were published in 2015. Georgia de Chamberet is Blanch's god-daughter and has worked in publishing for over twenty-five years as an editor, translator, agent and literary consultant. She is the founder of BookBlast Ltd, writing agency, and lives in London.
Top customer reviews
In this new collections of her writings, Blanch’s god-daughter, Georgia de Chamberet lovingly curates a collection of images, illustrations and text creating both a beautiful book, and also a contemporary record of an age that has long since passed.
The first chapter of the book tells some of Lesley’s history – her time at art school, and her career designing sets and costumes for the Ballets Russe, mixing with escaped White Russians, and her tumultuous affair with the Traveller. It then moves on to her married life, and the beginnings of her wanderlust that led her around the globe, but back time and again to the Middle East.
Reading Lesley’s own writings on her time in the Middle East and the people she saw there, it’s clear that among her love affairs, the one she had with the region is just as real. Some of her descriptions of the ancient sites and relics she observed are more poignant, bearing in mind the devastating wars ongoing in that region, and the awful news of the destruction of some of the those sites, such as Palmyra. Through Lesley’s beautiful descriptions, we can get a sense of these monuments that is just not possible now.
Whether writing about people or places, Lesley Blanch’s writing is arresting and has real life to it – her piece about Vivien Leigh is a particular favourite of mine and, as I said, the whole collection is put together with such love and respect, that it is a fantastic introduction to the work of a remarkable woman.
Edited by her god-daughter Georgia de Chamberet, who provides an absorbing biographical introduction, this new collection of her profiles, essays and travel articles displays the range and flair of her journalism.
Blanch’s acute observations of places and people can be found in pieces on subjects as diverse as polygamy, souks, picture postcards, the Orient Express, Christmas in Mexico and life in post-war Bulgaria. Her travel pieces are all the more poignant in view of the subsequent fate of many of the places – Kabul, Aleppo, Palmyra – she describes so vividly, and the collection as a whole forms a richly engaging record of a life lived to the full.
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