8.5.11

book review: furious love


Richard Burton (10 November 1925 – 5 August 1984) & Elizabeth Taylor (February 27, 1932 – March 23, 2011)

Image courtesy of Amazon.

Where else can I begin, other than to say that this is a wondrous presentation of Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, and their Marriage of the Century.

I've always known that Elizabeth Taylor was an icon, but to gain access to such personal moments of her life, during her tumultuous love affair with Richard Burton, is beyond words. It was truly a furious love that stood the test of time. Despite living in the public eye, a mutual battle with alcoholism, gruesome critique's of their work, two marriages, and two divorces, their passionate love for each other lived on. In fact, three days before Burton's death (he was living with his widow, Sally Hay Burton), he sent his last love letter to Elizabeth Taylor's home in Los Angeles, which she received in her mailbox when she returned from his memorial service in London.

Though many of Richard's love letters to Elizabeth were published in this book, she refused to share with anyone, those last poetic words of Richard Burton, except for what he ultimately wanted and confessed: "Home was where Elizabeth was, and he wanted to come home." She kept this letter beside her bed for 27 years, and upon her death on March 23, 2011, Elizabeth's wish was granted when she was buried with it.

On her approval of writing this publication, Elizabeth was quoted as saying to her biographer's: "I don't care what you write about me, God knows, I've heard it all, just as long as you honor Richard."


I cried (more like sobbed) while reading the epilogue. This is a love affair that will forever be in my heart, between two magnificent people that I will never forget.

Sam Kashner and Nancy Schoenberger have victoriously honoured both Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton in this unforgettable chronicle.

"This secretly photographed image of Elizabeth and Richard was the shot seen 'round the world, announcing their love to a scandal-hungry public." [Kashner/Schoenberger/Marcello Gepetti/Globe Photos Inc.]
"'. . . from those first moments in Rome we were always madly and powerfully in love,' Elizabeth later wrote about their relationship." [Kashner/Schoenberger/Bert Stern]
"The Sandpiper capitalized on Richard and Elizabeth's notoriety as the world's most famous lovers." [Kashner/Schoenberger]

"At the preiere of Lawrence of Arabia, starring Richard's friend and Becket co-star, Peter O'Toole, at the Theatre des Champs-Elysees in Paris, June 1963. Their school for scandal did not faze the French, who were quick to celebrate the famous couple." [Kashner/Schoenberger/A.P. Images]
"On location in Mexico for Night of the Iguana. They bought Casa Kimberly in Puerto Vallarta, where Elizabeth 'bloomed in hot climates,' Richard noted. October 1963." [Kashner/Schoenberger/Gjon Mili/Time Life Pictures/Getty Images]
"One of Elizabeth's favourite wedding photographs. She's wearing the emerald-and-diamond brooch from Bulgari, RIchard's engagement present to her." [Kashner/Schoenberger/William Lovelace/Evening Standard/Getty Images]
"A scene from Graham Greene's The Comedians, again playing illicit lovers. For the first time, Richard was paid more than Elizabeth to appear in a film." [Kashner/Schoenberger/Collection Pele/Stills/Gamma-Rapho]
"Elizabeth and Richard in Botswana, where they remarried on October 10, 1975. Their second marriage lasted less than ten months, ending on July 29, 1976." [Kashner/Schoenberger/Argus/A.P. Images]

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