Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Furious Love, Hedonistic Glamour

Regular readers would know that I'm a little bit obsessed with Dame Elizabeth Taylor. If I had to pick ten people living or dead to have at a dinner party, she would definitely be among them. Obviously the admiration I feel for Liz isn't quite the same as the admiration I feel for, say, Margaret Atwood or Nelson Mandela, but I can't help loving a woman who has burned so brightly and glamorously throughout her life despite suffering such frequent ill health and so much personal heartbreak.

Today I read this Fairfax story about how Dame Elizabeth has released Richard Burton's love letters to her, to be published in a new book called Furious Love: Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton and the Marriage of the Century. Immediately I knew I had to get my hands on this book; I emailed my friend Jane at HarperCollins and found out that they don't have the Aussie rights. Bother.

Richard and Elizabeth were married for the first time in 1964 and Liz looked smashing in a characteristically sixties yellow empire line dress. Her flowers were in her hair rather than in her bouquet. Does anyone know who designed this dress?

For their second wedding in 1975 Elizabeth wore yellow again (she chose yellow Valentino for her marriage to Larry Fortensky), but unfortunately their reunion lasted less than a year and they were both soon married to others. Richard died less than a decade later, but both, apparently, considered the other the love of their lives.

I love a happy clean-cut couple that oozes cuteness too, but Richard and Liz are still the stand bearers in my opinion for crazy, all consuming love, and the diamonds, matching luxe outfits, eleven movies and late night parties just make their story all the more compelling.

My friend Jane loves the title Furious Love and quite rightly said that in our conservative century their relationship would probably be labelled dysfunctional and co-dependent rather than passionate.

Vanity Fair mag will be running excerpts from the new book in their next issue, with Elizabeth circa Suddenly Last Summer on the cover.


Karen/Small Earth Vintage said...

Thanks for this! I have a slight fascination with Liz, too--from her great friendship and work relationship with Montgomery Cliff, to her and Burton in Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf. I'll keep an eye out for this book.

Love the photo of the second wedding to Burton. The lemon-lime color scheme--!!!

maggie said...

awwww Richard and Liz are one of my favorite "old hollywood couples" (next to humphrey and lauren). i LOVE that blue dress oscar it perfectly matches her violet eyes. also my dream diner-party guests i would love to have are...

deceased: audrey hepburn, princess diana, alexander mcqueen, and princess grace kelly

alive: liz taylor and kate winslet (loved her in "titanic" and "the reader")

tonypark said...

I'm pretty sure Dick and Liz went to the Chobe Safari Lodge in Botswana (one of my regular haunts) for a one of their hols or honeymoons (not sure which). I'm assuming Dick wore a safari suit (at least I hope he did).

Good news... and a scoop from a highly placed inside source... ANTM's next season is coming... July, 2010. (Just don't tell anyone I told you, or that I watch it).