PAVILIONS OF THE HEART, The Four Walls of Love

Lesley Blanch takes us across the world to visit fourteen different settings where lovers have united for a while, a night, or a lifetime. They range from a modest house near Wimbledon where Nelson loved; the estate of Woronince in the steppes of southern Russia from where Liszt and Princess Carolyne Sayn-Wittgenstein had to flee; and Sultan Murad’s room in the Seraglio; to a prison in Siberia; a Portuguese nun’s cell; and Kourdane, Aurélie Picard’s sumptuous pavilion of the heart in the Sahara.

The title of this book is taken from an Arab love-song which exhorts the beloved to leave the black tents of her tribe, since she has the Red Pavilion of her lover’s heart. “A light book”, Pavilions of the Heart is about the houses or rooms where great loves have been lived: George Sand and Chopin at Nohant, Liszt at Woronince, et cetera.

LESLEY BLANCH: “Legends can be as convincing as the most documented history, and legendary characters, particularly those long-dead lovers who are the stuff of legends, can obtain an obsessive hold

Biography. Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1974, illus. HB 192 pages