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.
The Ch teau de l'Horizon served as a social hub on the French Riviera between the 1920s and '60s, and here Lovell (The Churchills: In Love and War) presents a textured and meticulously researched history of a scintillating era on the Mediterranean coast. The author deftly juggles a vast array of characters, most notably the ch teau's indomitable visionary and hostess nonpareil, Maxine Elliott, and her close friend Winston Churchill, whose rejuvenating visits, as Lowell reveals, were vital to his reemergence onto the political stage on the eve of World War II. The first quarter of the book serves as a prech teau biography of Elliott, highlighting the allure of her beloved property as a site for the rich and royal to revel in the architecture, fashion, and decor. Lovell illustrates that Elliott's guests were well-known around the world, and their dalliances at the ch teau were both historically relevant and highly entertaining. Lovell bridges the Edwardian age and postwar Europe, as cultural and political shifts brought more Americans and money usurped style as the most valuable currency in the region. Photos.