Far To Go and Many To Love: People and Places is the sequel to the memoirs of Lesley Blanch, published posthumously by Virago, On the Wilder Shores of Love: A Bohemian Life. Available for the first time as a paperback and an e-book.
The collection opens with an insightful introduction about her two great loves: émigré theatre director, Theodore Komisarjevsky, and twice-Goncourt-winning novelist, Romain Gary. Her impressions of people and places have an enduring intensity and she writes of them as vividly as she does her own experiences.
We see rising stars Vivien Leigh and Peter Ustinov in 1940s London; and war reporter Germaine Kanova, the ‘French Lee Miller’; the last great Ruritanian Queen Marie of Rumania in her Balkan setting; and Pierre Loti in Turkey, or rather Loti-land.
Lesley Blanch was ahead of her time, ‘translating cultures’ to readers back home as she covered subjects as various as polygamy, the Orient Express and life in post-war Bulgaria; escaping Christmas in Mexico with her husband when he began to write Promise at Dawn; and journeying from Uzbekistan to Guatemala by way of North Africa and Mexico. She describes her later travels in North Africa, and her love of Afghanistan which she visited in the 1970s before the Soviet invasion.
She was among a handful of trailblazing women who led the way, doing their own thing – Rebecca West and Nancy Mitford among them. The lives and loves of Lesley Blanch and those adventurous women of her generation who lived purposeful, intense lives, inspired the next generation of women – Marianne Faithfull and Shirley Conran; the late Jackie Kennedy and Anaïs Nin among them.
“Lesley Blanch is herself Scheherazade . . . I was fascinated by the charm and with which she tells biographical facts . . . [with] great vitality, superb storytelling . . . My admiration for her was total” – THE DIARY OF ANAÏS NIN (1957)
• A distinctive collection of writings by Lesley Blanch who has cult status and was revered in her own lifetime.
• An indefatigable traveller, independent-minded polymath and literary pioneer of narrative nonfiction, she was a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature; was appointed MBE in 2001; and in 2004 the French government awarded her the medal of Officier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres.
• Features new material including unpublished photos and sketches from her portfolio.
• Perfect for fans of the Mitford sisters and Patrick Leigh Fermor.
Far To Go and Many To Love: People and Places – Lesley Blanch (Author), Georgia de Chamberet (Editor) | 21 Oct. 2022 | BookBlast ePublishing | Paperback & eBook Epub ISBN 978-0-9933552-8-8 Print ISBN 978-0-9933552-7-1 | Distribution: Amazon worldwide