A biography full of romanticism, exoticism, glamour and fantasy.
Blanch, writer, artist and adventuress, followed her own compass in everything she did. She called herself a romantic traveller; her appetite for the exotic colours all her books. The first, The Wilder Shores of Love, became a worldwide bestseller and is still in print.
Emotions, she insisted, can be transposed to places or countries and in this she was her own best example. Her guiding passion for Russia began in childhood; later she found the 'eternal Slav' in Romain Gary, Franco-Slav diplomat and writer, and with him embarked on a series of postings from Bulgaria to Los Angeles. After their divorce she transferred her obsession to Turkey, Persia and the Islamic East where she travelled widely, with tremendous baggage. She eventually settled on the Cote d'Azur, in a small pink villa dressed as exotically as herself.
Lesley Blanch loved mystery; vivid yet elusive, she hid as much as she revealed and created a legend about her early past. In this first biography, Anne Boston draws on publishers archives, unpublished journals and conversations with those who knew her, to piece together the portrait of an escapist for whom character plus opportunity equals fortune .
'A lively, colourful portrait, packed with people and travel' - Daily Mail
'Boston proves a sure-footed and sympathetic guide through the labyrinth of Blanch's self-invention' - Sunday Times
'Boston has succeeded . . . remarkably well, in capturing the spirit and wit of a sexy and scholarly romantic' - Guardian
As exotic and tantalising as a tale from the Arabian Nights. Glamorous and unconventional - Daily Express
Boston has . . . written a scrupulous, sympathetic, occasionally rather flowery book which . . . comes as close to the truth about any elusive and not altogether likeable subject as any biography could - Spectator
Boston s affectionate and admiring biography supplies some of the detail about which her subject was notably vague, but leaves the Blanch legend largely intact - Daily Telegraph
'For sheer fund I recommend Lesley Blanch . . . which offers a romp through the glittering combination of fantasy and fact under which this entrancing adventuress buried the mundane details . . . of her early life. Boston's eye for a comic quote . . . adds zest to the story of a writer whose favourite motto was: "Get up and get on with it." ' - Miranda Seymour, Daily Telegraph Books of the Year