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.