Riviera: The Rise and Rise of the Côte d'Azur
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The Riviera has inspired countless novelists and artists, attracted as much by its visitors as by its location (Somerset Maugham called it 'a sunny place for shady people'). But for the majority of the English, the Riviera was made famous by rumour and report: it was the scene of the romance of Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson; and, post-war, became the vacation spot of Hollywood starlets. But the Côte d'Azur has a long history of attracting foreign celebrities and royalty, since the seventeenth century, when it was a stopping point on the route south for aristocratic Grand Tourists.
Later, English and Scottish invalids, among them Robert Louis Stevenson, followed doctors' orders and holidayed on the Riviera for their health. Jim Ring explores these origins and the developments that took place on the coast - the impact of rail travel, of war, of celebrity and of the English. '
An entertaining survey . . . It is the ideal book to hide your smirk behind on the Promenade des Anglais as yet another roller-blading granny glides past in a leopard-sking thong.' Sunday Telegraph
Jim Ring's Riviera corrals an array of vignettes of the Côte d'Azur's most famous habitués from the Romans to the Rolling Stones . . . a stylish and pleasingly gossipy overview of the region's fluctuating fortunes.' Time Out
'A highly readable history.' Guardian
Menton, the most spectacular on the whole Riviera. As it was, the job was left to the Dean of Canterbury, who deplored the changes brought about by the coming of the line: All this is now lost to the traveller by the opening of the railway. And certainly, however slow one may be to sympathise with the lamentations over fine country being spoilt by lines of rail, one cannot forbear in this case joining the common outcry. The one perhaps the choicest bit of route to be found in the whole of Europe
saloon’. Gould’s son Frank was little better, and a confirmed drunk. Like James Gordon Bennett before him, he identified the Riviera as the best place to while away his days and in 1913 established himself there, in permanent exile. As a property speculator, he proved himself an astute businessman, and it was for the creation of modern Juan-les-Pins that the French government made him a Commander of the Légion d’Honneur. A more fitting tribute might have been the guillotine. As its name
three times the amount estimated. When the new station opened on 13 December 1964, it had exceeded even that. Nevertheless, its completion enabled Rainier to start on the creation of the beach. On the Larvotto to the east of the principality an entirely artificial beach was to be built, sitting on spoil excavated from the railway tunnel. There would be a promenade with restaurants, bathing cabins and shops. Best of all, there would be a Holiday Inn, with three hundred rooms, a conference hall
resist being spoilt.’ Of Monaco itself, the ageing Evelyn Waugh wrote, ‘I go often to Monte Carlo for simple love of the place. For one thing it has the best hotels in the world … It was part of François Blanc’s civilising mission to introduce classic French cooking to the frugal Italian Monégasques and to supplement the drab little wines.’ At the same time, Waugh’s old friend and fellow novelist Graham Greene found the coast still sufficiently attractive to settle in Antibes. In 1966 he took a
Siegfried, André 1 Signac, Paul 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6; Au Temps de Harmonie 1 Sihanouk, Prince 1 Silliman, Benjamin 1 Simpson, Ernest 1, 2 Simpson, Wallis, Duchess of Windsor (née Bessie Wallis Warfield): background 1; meets the Prince of Wales 1; fascinated by world of privilege 1, 2; at Golfe-Juan 1; divorced from Ernest Simpson 1; dramatic arrival in Cannes 1, 2; and Edward’s abdication broadcast 1; marries Edward 1; visits Hitler 1; home at Villa La Croe 1, 2;