The Temptress: The scandalous life of Alice, Countess de Janzé Paperback – 3 Feb 2011
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'Deliciously salacious' --Vogue
`Entertainingly told' -- The Spectator
`A delicious story' -- Daily Telegraph
`A Bold Story' --Sunday Times
`Defective fiction meets biography to hypnotic effect'
`The Temptress is a page-turner . . . a first-rate story' --Mail on Sunday
'[Spicer] treats [Alice] as a sympathetic character inexplicably overlooked as a suspect rather than as the raging psycho she clearly was.' --The Sunday Times, February 20, 2011 --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
About the Author
Paul Spicer was born in South-east England, spent his childhood in Kenya and Jerusalem, attended Eton in the 1940s and has since spent his life travelling the world as a businessman. Married with two grown-up children, he divides his time between Dorset and Kenya. The Temptress: The Scandalous LIfe of Alice, Countess de Janze is his first biography.
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Top Customer Reviews
This book, by contrast, was an absolute delight. I can't recommend it highly enough. Spicer is clearly invested in his subject, Alice De Janze, an uncommonly beautiful American heiress and member of Kenya's notorious Happy Valley Set between the wars. The writing is flawless, evocative and transporting. The subject matter is engrossing. Spicer writes about Alice incisively, striking exactly the right balance between analysis and narrative, maintaining exactly the right distance from a subject with whom he is somewhat connected (she was friends with his mother.) This is a story you'll read without blinking, until you realise it's 4am and you're disappointed to be finished. The pace and tone of the narrative is compelling, too. Just when you feel the story is meandering along at a comfortably pleasant pace, something terrifically dramatic happens, and Alice De Janze's life was punctuated with a lot of cinematically melodramatic moments.
The most infamous of these incidents in the book is the murder of Lord Erroll (the subject of 'White Mischief,' a book by historian James Fox, and later a film of the same title.) A reviewer below criticises Spicer for his theory about Erroll's murder, and this is probably legitimate. I haven't read 'White Mischief,' so Spicer's is effectively the first theory about Erroll's death that I have read. For this reason, I was pretty easily persuaded. Those who are more widely read in this area can better judge. However, as an ignorant but interested reader I enthusiastically recommend this to like-minded readers.Read more ›
in his naming the murderer of Joss.
But I did find it disconcerting that there were many mistakes on other facts, which I personally noticed knowing the country and the people involved.
For all it is a very interesting book and well worth reading.
She suffered from depression and shortly after the trial following Erroll's murder killed herself. The author thinks she,not Jock Broughton, shot Erroll. She may have done, but the evidence is sketchy.She was capable of it-she stood trial for shooting her lover Raymund de Trafford, whom she later married.
This is an entertaining book but a little too nice to everyone-why no mention of Joss's horsewhipping?
However, as an addition to the Erroll murder investigation I didn't find it added anything new, and was not convincing in its conclusion, as the "confession letter" is already known about. (And why has no-one ever tracked it down...?) This however, is hardly Spicer's fault, as the murder is already too distant to ever be solved finally and indisputedly. Also why does he gloss over the most famous scene of her life in the mortuary ?
Beautiful photos though, but it needs more...
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Paul Spicer wrote a brilliant poignant book about people thato were close to his family and yet maintains objectivity. Read morePublished 2 months ago by S aldridge
Read about Idina Sackville before this and wanted to know more about Alice. Enjoyed the book it was very interesting.Published 3 months ago by valerie milligan
I need more time. It is much as I have studied but I have not finished the book. JWPublished 4 months ago by Brigadier Johnny Walker
Very interesting biographical book, which reads about the beginning of 20th century and lives of the rich and beautiful, especially about Alice de Janze and the mistery of one... Read morePublished 8 months ago by jana
Loved this. I found myself finding sympathy for Alice. She was a law unto herself. I can't decide whether she was brave or foolhardy. A great read and true into the bargain. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Delia