FAR TO GO AND MANY TO LOVE, People and Places— Selected Writings of Lesley Blanch. Edited & with an Introduction by Georgia de Chamberet

VALERIE GROVE, LITERARY REVIEW: “There is no resisting the spell cast by Lesley Blanch’s words. You just have to recline and be engulfed by the rich colours and textures, the elegance and the drama of her writing . . . Georgia de Chamberet, whose mother got to know Lesley through their Russian husbands, has compiled and edited this exhilarating rattlebag of Blanchiana: early journalism, odd essays, rewritten pasages from her books, fragments from notebooks. The book’s title was what a Gypsy woman, who came to the Blanch family’s door in suburban Chiswick selling clothes pegs, forecast for Lesley at the age of sixteen – and how rights she was . . . Blanch was a romantic and sometimes a fabulist and fantastist, but she was also tough and firmly rooted in earthy reality.”

Far To Go and Many To Love features an insightful introduction with a distinctly Russian flavour. The collection unites writings on subjects as various as Vivien Leigh, polygamy, the Orient Express and Afghanistan. Illustrated with photos and unpublished sketches from Blanch’s portfolio from when she worked with Russian émigré theatre director, Komisarjevsky.

Autobiography & Memoir. HB illus. 376pp £10 Quartet Books ISBN 978-0704374348