The Riviera Set

The Riviera Set is the story of the group of people who lived, partied, bed hopped and politicked at the Chateau 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 this was the amazing Maxine Elliott, the daughter oThe Riviera Set is the story of the group of people who lived, partied, bed hopped and politicked at the Chateau 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 this was the amazing Maxine Elliott, the daughter of a fisherman from Connecticut, who built the beautiful art deco Chateau and brought together the likes of Noel Coward, the Aga Khan, the Windsors 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 Chateau 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 Mary Lovell tells her story of high society behaviour with tremendous brio and relish, and this book has all the charm and fascination of her bestselling The Mitford Girls and The Churchills.
The Riviera Set The Riviera Set is the story of the group of people who lived partied bed hopped and politicked at the Chateau de l Horizon near Cannes over the course of forty years from the time when Coco Chanel

  • Title: The Riviera Set
  • Author: Mary S. Lovell
  • ISBN: 9781408705223
  • Page: 313
  • Format: Paperback
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      Posted by:Mary S. Lovell
      Published :2018-05-14T04:34:28+00:00

    About the Author

    Mary S. Lovell

    Mary was an accountant and company director for 20 years before becoming a writer She wrote her first book in 1981 at the age of 40, while recovering from a broken back which was the result of a riding accident She returned to accountancy but during the following 5 years she also published two further non fiction books that were written in her spare time.She lives in the New Forest in Hampshire, England.

    648 Comment

    • Susan said:
      Aug 22, 2018 - 04:34 AM

      I have read, and enjoyed, many books by Mary S. Lovell, and was keen to read this, her latest. However, this is slightly different from other books that I have read – rather than being the biography of a person, it is the biography of a place; the Chateau de l’Horizon, an art deco villa on the French Rivera, which was built in 1932 by Maxine Elliott. This book begins with the biography of Maxine Elliott, who started life in 1868 as Jessica Dermot I the United States. One of the pivotal momen [...]

    • Linda Lawrance said:
      Aug 22, 2018 - 04:34 AM

      Now this is a good read! Unusual in that it tells the tale of a place and time and the people who lived there chiefly through the medium of one particular grand villa on the Riviera, le Chateau de l'Horizon, built by the actress Maxine Elliott. The book necessarily begins by telling Maxine's story as she progresses from Maine to California then to British high society and on to the Riviera where her home is an open house for the beautiful people of the early 20th century. After Maxine's death at [...]

    • Saturday's Child said:
      Aug 22, 2018 - 04:34 AM

      While I had never read about or heard of Maxine Elliott and her home Chateau de l'Horizon I did know of some of her friends and houseguests. This book offers an insight into the lives of these people and how so many of them are connected by friendships, marriages, affairs etc.

    • Nicky said:
      Aug 22, 2018 - 04:34 AM

      I enjoyed the setting of the Riviera as a playground for the richAnd famous and especially the references to Churchill and Prince Amy Khan. It's historically fascinating rather than important and makesMe glad I live in a less louche age

    • Jacqui Gordon said:
      Aug 22, 2018 - 04:34 AM

      Fascinating insight on how the powerful and the glamourous lived it up on the Riviera during its golden era.

    • Hester Maree said:
      Aug 22, 2018 - 04:34 AM

      This book describes what it sets out to do in the introduction. It is “less a biography of a person, more the story of a house and those who peopled it between the years 1930 and 1960”. The “house” or extensive art deco villa called the Château de l’Horizon on the French Riviera was built by Maxine Elliott (stage name), American actress, society hostess, “possibly royal mistress”. Maxine filled the house with a constant stream of the fabulously wealthy, strikingly beautiful, famou [...]

    • Marguerite Kaye said:
      Aug 22, 2018 - 04:34 AM

      3.5 Stars. This was a great, gossipy 'biography' of a time and place, set around one house on the Cote d'Azure. Full of glitz and glamour, as you would expect from the fabulous Ms Lovell, beautifully written and nicely situated in a historical context, this was an easy read, and a fun one. I guess my issue is that she has set the bar so very high with her other biographies, that I was a bit disappointed there wasn't more to this one. It felt a bit sort of pulled together, with links from other b [...]

    • Maine Colonial said:
      Aug 22, 2018 - 04:34 AM

      I was excited about reading this, but it became a real slog. I’ve read a few biography-of-a-place books and liked them, but Lovell doesn’t pull it off in this case. She does a good job in the first half, but after the Chateau de l’Horizon’s first owner dies, her narrative becomes disjointed and unfocused. I think that’s in part because the new owner, Aly Khan, didn’t live at the Chateau all that much and it wasn’t the same center of sociopolitical life that it had been.

    • Alecia said:
      Aug 22, 2018 - 04:34 AM

      I found this to be a very enjoyable, well-written story of the group of people who lived at the Chateau de l'Horizon near Cannes. The main characters span about 40 years, and include a lot of famous people,with a good portion of the book focused on Maxine Elliott who built the house. The book is chatty, informative, and dishy, without being scurrilous.The house is the main "character" and it's inhabitants over the years included Winston Churchill, Somerset Maugham, Noel Coward, the Aga Khan, the [...]

    • Claire said:
      Aug 22, 2018 - 04:34 AM

      Hello I just want to go to the French Riviera now ok cool

    • Sharon Huether said:
      Aug 22, 2018 - 04:34 AM

      A story of a home in France where Maxine Elliot entertained the rich and the famous. She did humanitarian acts of kindness during WWI . She bought a barge and from it supplied food and medicine to 350,000 displaced people in Belgium.Winston Churchill was a good friend of Maxine.After her death in 1940 . the Italians and German officers stayed in the home, which was more like a hotel.Prince Aly Khan an old friend of Maxine's bought the home after WWII ended and renovated it. Rita Hayworth was a g [...]

    • Margaret Higgins said:
      Aug 22, 2018 - 04:34 AM

      so so story of a pretty racy time. i have read about these people in other books. the playboys, the hostesses, nobility 20s to 50s. churchill just going to stay where ever he wanted, when he wanted was new.

    • Bianxx J said:
      Aug 22, 2018 - 04:34 AM

      Loved it!

    • Nicola Pierce said:
      Aug 22, 2018 - 04:34 AM

      I finished this before 8am this morning. I've read a few Mary Lovell biographies and am all set to begin 'The Mitford Girls' this evening. I always enjoy her books, they are immensely readable, crammed with facts and gossip. I must admit that I didn't feel the writing was as tight with this one but it didn't dampen my enthusiasm. She writes about the various owners of, and visitors to, Chateau de l'Horizon, a lavish house built on the Riviera (naturally!), spanning the 1930s - 1950s. It seems th [...]

    • Danielle said:
      Aug 22, 2018 - 04:34 AM

      A great read by one of my favourite biographers. Such an absorbing tale of wealth, excess and an array of fascinating characters.

    • Argum said:
      Aug 22, 2018 - 04:34 AM

      I won a free copy of this book from First REads.A biography of a time and place that truly captures the imagination. Starting with a mini biography of Maxine Elliot and her home on The Riveria and moving into the prewar years of glitz and glamour and the power players that visited in those golden years. Moving into the post war years and changes with a nice update of players at the end. I knew some of these players and the idea that the Riveria is a place to see and be seen, but this was more i [...]

    • Audiothing said:
      Aug 22, 2018 - 04:34 AM

      Review via audiothing/This book, by renowned biographer Mary S. Lovell is not, she tells us, a biography, but about a house and of those who were entertained within its walls.It is written in three parts, the first being an account of the early years of Jessie Dermot:Jessie Dermot, by dint of her beauty, talent and sheer determination, transformed herself into the fabulously rich queen of high society Maxine Elliot.At her beautiful Chateau de l'Horizon Maxine entertained princes and politicians; [...]

    • Sherry Mackay said:
      Aug 22, 2018 - 04:34 AM

      I loved meandering through this tale of the wealthy upper class living the high life on the riviera. This book will not appeal to everyone; it is a very particular look at a subset of people over 40 years. But I found it fascinating. Mary Lovell can write a very readable and appealing book, as seen in some of her other books like the Mitford sisters. If you feel like checking out the lives of the wealthy mid 20th century give this one a go.

    • Kris A said:
      Aug 22, 2018 - 04:34 AM

      I loved the Mitford Family and really enjoyed The Churchills, so came to The Riveria Set with high expectations. I was really disappointed. The book jumped all over the place and lacked the page turning nature of the author's previous works. I felt like the book was a collection of chapters that were cut from past books, particularly those about Churchill. I enjoyed the first part, perhaps because it was most like the previous works. If you have not read the Mitfords or the Churchills this may b [...]

    • Lesley Anderson said:
      Aug 22, 2018 - 04:34 AM

      Horrifying. As someone said in the book - a sunny place for shady people.Too much focus on Winston Churchill, I thought. Champagne soaked cotton wool balls to throw at each other after dinner!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Helen Carolan said:
      Aug 22, 2018 - 04:34 AM

      Another wonderful read from Ms. Lovell. This one is much gossipy than her usual fare, in that it details the jet-setters who made the Riviera their playground from 1920 through to 1960. An interesting read.

    • Nola said:
      Aug 22, 2018 - 04:34 AM

      I enjoyed this book, it was interesting to read about the history of one house and its inhabitants and even more interesting, its guests.

    • Gail said:
      Aug 22, 2018 - 04:34 AM

      Reading in a theme of this author. Readable and love the connections-Churchill,pamela,Aly and Aga khan,Duke of Windsor and Wallis.

    • Kristen said:
      Aug 22, 2018 - 04:34 AM

      The Riviera Set: Glitz, Glamour, and the Hidden World of High Society is an engaging, well-researched Trans-Atlantic social history of cafe society, royalty, statesmen, and celebrities from the beginning of the 20th century through the late 1960s. Author Lovell uses a clever approach, by organizing the book around the history of the owners and visitors to the famous Chateau de l'Horizon on the Cote d'Azur. The first two-thirds of the book focus on the American actress and socialite Maxine Elliot [...]

    • Verity W said:
      Aug 22, 2018 - 04:34 AM

      This is full of my catnip - well written narrative history of high society and their antics in the 20th century. There were a few people in here that I hadn't heard of before - and they turned out to be fascinating - and then a lot of people who any one with a passing interest in the period will have heard of - Churchill, Wallis Simpson and Edward VIII, Aly Khan, various Mitfords etc. If I have a gripe, it's that it takes a while for the action to actually get to the Rivera, but that's because t [...]

    • Denise said:
      Aug 22, 2018 - 04:34 AM

      This review is based on kindle version. It was an interesting read but not what I expected.The writer centres her book on the house Maxine Elliot built outside Cannes. Maxine is an American socialite I had not heard of before. The first 30% is about Maxine's life and how she came to build the house. She held house parties, which many members of the English aristocracy attended. She was extremely fond of Winston Churchill who was a frequent guest. She enjoyed surrounding herself with people. My d [...]

    • Mary said:
      Aug 22, 2018 - 04:34 AM

      Non-fiction. Interesting and informative. Based on a villa on the Cote d'Azur, Chateau de l'Horizon, built by Maxine Elliott in 1930 where very rich people assembly to drink, play cards, swim in pool, sail in luxury yaghts. Maxine becomes a wonderful hostess and it is considered a great honour to be invited to stay in her villa. She entertains the creme de creme of high society - Daisy Fellowes, Doris Castlerose, the exiled Duke and Duchess of Windsor, Winston Churchill.Covers the years 1920-60 [...]

    • Stephen Schumacher said:
      Aug 22, 2018 - 04:34 AM

      I felt like I was reading a extremely intellectual gossip magazine article for a couple weeks. The detailed looks into several individual's lives I knew nothing about (example: Maxine Elliot) and others I knew a decent amount about (example: Winston Churchill) were very eye opening and personal - all exemplified through two World Wars and numerous economic changes across the world. The name dropping (which is necessary) began to confuse me in numerous moments in the book. I think it shows how li [...]

    • Pam Mezaraups said:
      Aug 22, 2018 - 04:34 AM

      Wonderfully chatty bookuld not put it down. Mary Lovell writes good character books about real people. This was about a house/villa and the people who inhabited it and the French Riviera with a time frame from the WWI to the 50's. You meet the famous in an interesting way like Winston Churchill - at rest and vacationingMaxine Elliott, an actress, owner of L'Horizon, astute businesswoman and friend to quite a famous list, the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, Aly Khan and Rita Hayworth and serious con [...]

    • GrabAsia said:
      Aug 22, 2018 - 04:34 AM

      A wonderful read. It romps through Edwardian England and the French Riviera, focussing on the story of one villa, Chateau D'Horizon. It was created by Maxine Elliott, someone I had not heard of, who was a famous American actress and then became part of (and then a doyen) of the smart aristocratic set in the 1900's. It was bought by the famous Prince Aly Khan (of the Aga Khan dynasty) after World war II when Maxine's famous parties and entertaining continued. Winston Churchill and the Windsors fi [...]

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