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In 1889, Victorian impresario Richard D'Oyly Carte opened The Savoy, Britain's first luxury hotel. Allowing the rich to live like royalty, it attracted glamour, scandal and a cast of eccentric characters, with the D'Oyly Carte family elevated to a unique vantage point on high society.

THE SECRET LIFE OF THE SAVOY tells their story through three generations: Richard (a showman who made his fortune from the Gilbert and Sullivan operas), Rupert (who expanded the D'Oyly Carte empire through two world wars and the roaring twenties), and Bridget (the reluctant heiress and last of the family line).

In this, the first biography of the family, Olivia Williams revives their extroardinary cultural legacy, told through the prism of their iconic hotel and its many distinguished guests.

 

Details

ISBN: 9781472271761
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 336
Publication Date: 3 Sep 2020
Publisher: Headline Publishing Group
Publication City, Country: London, United Kingdom
Dimensions (cm): 23.2(H) x 15.2(L) x 3(W)
Weight (gm): 431

 

Reviews

The story of how one family's vision shaped not only a British institution but the very idea of luxury. From Belle Epoque scandals to Hollywood gossip, and from kitchen politics to corporate swashbuckling, Williams' writing is deliciously alive with the type of behind-the-scenes drama that will transport you back in time. - Francesca Cartier Brickell, author of 'The Cartiers'

A thoroughly entertaining account of some of London's most treasured history, with its beloved The Savoy at the heart of a fascinating and delightful plot. Bravo to Olivia Williams and her fantastically colourful cast of characters. - Lady Kinvara Balfour, director and producer

Whether it's The Beatles being blocked from entry or Marilyn Monroe sipping tea in a daring dress, London's Savoy Hotel has seen its share of intrigue and controversy for more than a century. Olivia Williams reveals its most decadent moments. - You Magazine

A new book by Olivia Williams is to be welcomed as a reminder that "at their height", the D'Oyly Cartes ranked as "the greatest impresarios and hoteliers in the world" - as dynamic, innovative and powerful in their way as any of today's media dynasties. - Daily Telegraph

An elegantly crafted, yet spritely and sparkling book, perfectly befitting its subject. Williams uses group biography to beautifully illuminate some of London's greatest hotel and theatre landmarks. - Ophelia Field, author of The Favourite

A cracking good read and a fascinating story that - amazingly - has not been told before. - Fiona Duncan, the Telegraph

A feast of gloriously eccentric and compelling characters... a veritable cornucopia of explanations and clarifications... endlessly compelling. - Mike Leigh, director of Gilbert and Sullivan biopic 'Topsy-Turvy'

Williams writes with authority and style, making her ideal to chronicle the story of the Savoy. - Richard Vines, Bloomberg

 

Author Biography

Olivia graduated with a scholarship in Modern History from St Edmund Hall, Oxford, where she remained for her master's degree. She worked as a journalist before writing her first book Gin Glorious Gin, and now works as a freelance writer living in London.
The Secret Life of the Savoy: and the D'Oyly Carte family
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