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Friday 22 November 2019
Literary lunch: Anne de Courcy and Chanel’s Riviera

The burning question on the French Riviera during spring 1938 was whether to curtsey to the Duchess of Windsor or not. Most of those who had settled here thought little about events elsewhere in Europe. A far cry from politics or the threat of war, theirs was a golden, glamorous life.

Coco Chanel was at the heart of a sparkling cast of artists, writers and historical figures including the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, Salvador Dalí and Edith Wharton. Covering the 1930-44 years, Chanel’s Riviera is a captivating account of a time that saw some of the deepest extremes of luxury and terror in the whole of the 20th century.

From Chanel's first summer at her Roquebrune villa ‘La Pausa’ (in later years with her German lover) – amid pre-war parties and casinos in Antibes, Nice and Cannes – to the horrors of evacuation and the displacement of thousands of families during the Second World War, Chanel's Riviera explores the fascinating world of the Cote d'Azur elite of the day. Around much original research, this is a vivid social history of both rich and poor, protected and persecuted.

Anne de Courcy is the author of 14 widely-acclaimed works of social history and biography, including The Husband Hunters, The Fishing Fleet, The Viceroy's Daughters and Debs at War. She lives in London and Gloucestershire.

A book selling and signing session, hosted by Mr B's Emporium of Reading Delights, will follow the lunch and Anne's talk.

Date: Friday 22 November, 12 noon for 12.30pm, until around 3pm
Price: £29.50pp to include a two-course lunch with a glass of wine and coffee.

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