Anne de Courcy's Chanel's Riviera gives us delicious gossip. France's leading designer was the epitome of chic. When she acquired a magnificent villa on the Cote d'Azur, the rich and famous - among them Jean Cocteau, H. G. Wells, Salvador Dali (and, after the abdication, the Windsors) - followed. They created a gilded and hedonistic world, which continued until the fall of France in 1940.
Providing insight into the occupation of France and its terrifying impact on rich and poor alike, you'll come away from reading it both better informed and utterly transported
Sparkling, anecdote-rich narrative
Fascinating ... By turns sunny and shady, this beautifully written book illuminates a harrowing and occasionally surreal episode in 20th-century French history
A well-researched and compelling story. Drawing on an immense volume of material, she has succeeded not only in constructing an intriguing portrait of Chanel herself but also in expertly conjuring the two very different worlds that then existed side by side
A highly amusing guide to the shenanigans, foibles and affairs of the rich and famous at a time when it seemed anyone who was anyone spent weeks at a time on the Riviera ... De Courcy has dug deep into a rich seam of stories about the coastal region of France
De Courcy is very powerful on the fall of France - the sorrow and the pity ... De Courcy, in this gripping, rousing study, sees Chanel as a Marie Antoinette figure, simultaneously shrewd and other-worldly, protected by an armour of absolute self-interest.
A riveting read about the best and very worst of times and at the heart of the story is the morally ambiguous (some may say morally bankrupt) Chanel herself.