The Riviera Set by Mary S. Lovell

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The Riviera Set is overstuffed with social butterflies and 10th barons of What's -it-Shires of the Realm, but what Elliott did for Churchill — giving him a taste of peace and prosperity in his time, at least on the Chateau's waterslide — probably helped save England, and by extension, the Allies.
-NPR

Synopsis

The author of the bestselling The Sisters: The Saga of the Mitford Family brings her trademark brio and relish to the charming and fascinating world of the Château de l'Horizon on the French Riviera

The Riviera Set reveals the story of the group of people who lived, partied, bed-hopped and politicked at the Château de l'Horizon near Cannes, over the course of forty years from the time when Coco Chanel made southern French tans fashionable in the twenties to the death of the playboy Prince Aly Khan in 1960.

At the heart of dynamic group was the amazing Maxine Elliott, the daughter of a fisherman from Connecticut, who built the beautiful art deco Château and brought together the likes of Noel Coward, the Aga Khan, the Duke and Duchess of Windsor and two very saucy courtesans, Doris Castlerosse and Daisy Fellowes, who set out to be dangerous distractions to Winston Churchill as he worked on his journalism and biographies during his 'wilderness years' in the thirties. After the War the story continued as the Château changed hands and Prince Aly Khan used it to entertain the Hollywood set, as well as launch his seduction of and eventual marriage to Rita Hayworth

Bringing a bygone era back to life, Mary Lovell cements her spot as one of our top social historians in this captivating and evocative new book. 16 pages of B&W photographs
 

About Mary S. Lovell

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Mary S. Lovell's best-selling biographies include Straight on Till Morning (Beryl Markham) and The Sisters (the Mitford family). She lives in England.
 
Published September 5, 2017 by Pegasus Books. 448 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Travel. Non-fiction
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Critic reviews for The Riviera Set
All: 4 | Positive: 1 | Negative: 3

Kirkus

Below average
on Jun 05 2017

Lovell packs in as many celebrities as possible, which makes for an entertaining book but not one likely to end up on a reference shelf.

Read Full Review of The Riviera Set | See more reviews from Kirkus

NPR

Below average
Reviewed by Jacki Lyden on Sep 09 2017

The Riviera Set is overstuffed with social butterflies and 10th barons of What's -it-Shires of the Realm, but what Elliott did for Churchill — giving him a taste of peace and prosperity in his time, at least on the Chateau's waterslide — probably helped save England, and by extension, the Allies.

Read Full Review of The Riviera Set | See more reviews from NPR

NY Times

Good
Reviewed by Sadie Stein on Oct 11 2017

...so it’s a testament to Lovell’s charm and skill that, much like the Château de l’Horizon’s chatelaine, she’s able to show even the most judgmental reader a good time

Read Full Review of The Riviera Set | See more reviews from NY Times

Guardian

Above average
Reviewed by Hannah Beckerman on Jul 24 2017

Elliot is undoubtedly the star, and the later chapters, after her death, are not quite as engaging. But the tone throughout is confiding and intimate, and while the book lacks a layer of psychological acuity, it’s an illuminating read.

Read Full Review of The Riviera Set | See more reviews from Guardian

Reader Rating for The Riviera Set
67%

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