Erotic Vagrancy: Everything about Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor (Hardcover)

Erotic Vagrancy: Everything about Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor By Roger Lewis Cover Image

Erotic Vagrancy: Everything about Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor (Hardcover)

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Thirteen years in the writing, Erotic Vagrancy doesn't only surpass every other biography of Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton yet to appear, this rich, vital and passionately articulated book, which is as extravagant and wayward as its two subjects, is also about celebrity, creativity, being flawed, being brilliant, sexuality, the intermingling of a low and a highbrow existence, pride, insecurity, attraction and repulsion, and devilry.

We see Taylor the child actress exchanging dogs and horses for husbands. We see Burton emerging from the mists and brimstone of Wales to be the greatest theatrical animal of his generation. The pair come together in Rome during the making of Cleopatra, which gives Lewis the opportunity for a major farcical set-piece. We then enter a world of jewels and private jets, vodka, yachts and furs - the splendid vulgarity of the Sixties, where the narrative of Taylor and Burton becomes a Pop Art story.

Then, inevitably, it all goes wrong, with alcoholism, violence, recrimination and divorce ( twice ) - with Burton, whom Lewis depicts as a Faustus figure, damned by fame, dead at fifty-eight.

Stephen Fry has said, 'It is one of the very best biographies I have ever read. One of the best books about fame, desire, Hollywood and mid-to-late twentieth century culture ever written. Inside which, brilliant, hilarious and sensitive insights on all manner of subjects fizz and froth. Magnificent, terrible, tragic, triumphant.'
Though he'd have you believe he was an aristocratic orphan left in the jungle and raised by monkeys, Roger Lewis was in fact born in industrial South Wales in the last century, educated in Scotland, and became a Fellow of Wolfson College, Oxford, at the age of twenty-four. His book The Life and Death of Peter Sellers was made into the Golden Globe and Emmy award-winning film by HBO, starring Geoffrey Rush and Charlize Theron. Lewis, who in 2010 received an Honorary Doctorate of Letters, divides his time between a collapsing Georgian property in the Herefordshire Balkans and a flat above a dirndl shop in the imperial spa town of Bad Ischl, near Salzburg in Austria. When in London he is reliably to be found in Rules, the charming old-world restaurant in Covent Garden.
Product Details ISBN: 9780857381729
ISBN-10: 0857381725
Publisher: Mobius
Publication Date: March 26th, 2024
Pages: 608
Language: English