Hearing the voice of Lesley Blanch through recorded interviews, or other forms of media, adds a layer of meaning and significance to her work, and establishes a connection between her and the reader, making her work more meaningful on a personal level. The inflection, pauses, and emphasis in her speech provide clues about her personality and the emotion behind her words, thereby enriching our understanding of her writing and the culture of the time. Her adventurous spirit, her passion and unique perspective on the world during the period in which she lived, spanning nearly a century, are clear to hear!
An overview of the Romantic Riviera of The Ballets Russes, Scott Fitzgerald, Somerset Maugham and Katherine Mansfield. Includes an interview with Lesley Blanch, BBC Radio 4 January 1998.
Audio Extract from Journey Into the Mind’s Eye by Lesley Blanch, part 1. BBC Radio 3 Interval, June 1999. Reader, Alison Sterling. Producer, Sara Davies. Images from The Lesley Blanch Archive, all rights reserved.
Audio Extract from Journey Into the Mind’s Eye by Lesley Blanch, part 2. BBC Radio 3 Interval, February 2002. Reader, Juliet Stevenson. Producer, Sara Davies. Images from The Lesley Blanch Archive, all rights reserved.
BookInfo: Journey Into the Mind’s Eye by Lesley Blanch
When a friend of her parents whom she simply calls ‘The Traveller’ blew into her nursery, muffled in heavy furs and full of the fairy tales of Russia, with gifts of Fabergé eggs and icons, he instilled in her a lifelong passion. Lesley Blanch was twenty when he swept out of her life, leaving her in the grip of a tremendous obsession.
The search to recapture her great love, and the Russia he had planted within her, takes her to dingy apartments reeking of cabbage soup and piroshkis on the outskirts of Paris in the 1960s; to Siberia and beyond – journeying deep into the romantic terrain of the mind’s eye. Part travel book, part love story, Lesley Blanch’s memoir is pure intoxication.
NEWSDAY: “A jewel-filled narrative – breathtaking, exotic and brilliant”
THE SPECTATOR: “If you are interested in Russia – if you are interested in love – this haunting book is one to read and re-read. A masterpiece”
Published by Eland Books, London
BookBlast® official | Anne Sebba, author of Les Parisiennes & Georgia de Chamberet discuss the bohemian life of Lesley Blanch.
The discussion held at Waterstones HQ, Piccadilly, London W1, includes subjects: nonconformist women, escape from surburbia, Theodore Komisarjevsky and West End theatre between the wars, diplomat novelist Romain Gary, how the Women of Paris survived in World War I under Nazi Occupation, life in London during Blitz, a writer’s life, travelling in the Balkans, Russia and Middle East, the overnight success of her first and best known book, The Wilder Shores of Love, The Sabres of Paradise, Lady L by her husband satirizing her, fifties New York, fifties Hollywood, literary power couples, bridging East and West, lifelong friends Cecil Beaton, Nancy Mitford, Diana Vreeland, VOGUE, her posthumously published memoirs, On The Wilder Shores of Love . . . and why the question “What is a bohemian?” is still so relevant today.
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