Lesley Blanch

Lesley Blanch


Lesley Blanch, historian and traveller, was the author of twelve books. A scholarly romantic, Blanch influenced and inspired generations of writers, readers and critics. Her first book pioneered a new type of biography and focused on four women who spectacularly defied convention. The Wilder Shores of Love was instantly acclaimed as a classic, becoming a worldwide bestseller, and has remained in print in English since its first publication in 1954.
Blanch was both ahead of her time and prescient in the way she attempted to bridge the gap between Western and Eastern culture. In April 1945 she married the French novelist-diplomat Romain Gary. Life in the French diplomatic service took them to the Balkans, Turkey, North Africa, Mexico and the USA.
The couple were divorced in 1962. Blanch continued to travel widely, inspired by the variety of cultures and landscapes in the East.
In later life, Blanch settled in Menton, in the South of France, where she died aged 102 in 2007.

Selected Bibliography:

The Wilder Shores of Love (1954)

Round The World in Eighty Dishes (1955)

Regency England Undressed: Hariette Wilson and her Memoirs (1957)

The Sabres of Paradise (1960)

Journey Into The Mind’s Eye (1963)

The Nine Tiger Man (1965)

Pavilions of the Heart: The Four Walls of Love (1974)

Pierre Loti (1983)

On The Wilder Shores of Love: A Bohemian Life (2015)

Far To Go and Many To Love: People and Places (2017)


@LesleyBlanch @LesleyBlanch

Warm wishes for a wonderful holiday & an even better new year! Thank you for your support during this past tricky year. #HappyHolidays2021 to all!

"Part of Herbert’s genius lay in his willingness to reach for more idiosyncratic sources of inspiration. The Sabres of Paradise served as one of those sources ..." writes Will Collins @LAReviewofBooks @PFDAgents https://bit.ly/3nkHOld Tk u! 😀🙌

Revealing interview with the great Paul Auster by ⁦@ahmpreston⁩. ‘Five years of teaching and I still have a horror of creative writing. Either you have an imagination or you don’t; either you have a feel for language or you don’t’. Er, discuss. https://www.theguardian.com/books/2021/oct/02/paul-auster-burning-boy-stephen-crane-interview

Tune in #BookBlastPodcast to hear a lively conversation with #FaïzaGuène #SarahArdizzone abt inner city school life; impact of Black Lives Matter; #paris2024 Olympic Games; translating backslang & #MenDon’tCry @CassavaRepublic @RebeccasBooks @ifru_london https://apple.co/3AHP3JB

I have news... Thrilled to say my second novel is launching with the fab @unbounders today. It's called JACOB'S ADVICE & is set in Paris 2015 & it's about... Well, watch this video to find out (& support if you like). Merci beaucoup! #JacobsAdvice #Paris https://unbound.com/books/jacobs-advice/

This “clever, often hilarious” play (@spyinthestalls) is now just a week away. Help us put bums on seats at the @HeadgateTheatre #Colchester. #Theatre #plays #playwrights #actors #acting @TheGazette @BBCEssex @essexlive @ColWriteNight @WhatsOnStage @theatrethingsuk.

New episode up now. Elizabeth Costello by J.M. Coetzee, with guest Mary Costello, recorded live at @GalwayIntArts. https://www.backlisted.fm/episodes/146-jm-coetzee-elizabeth-costello

This - brought to my attention by ⁦@IanCallaway352⁩ - is like a catalogue of all the most English things that are the most likeable about the English: terrific stuff!
Tom Stoppard: A Life (Omnibus) - BBC Sounds https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/m000ztsg

Coming up soon the #BookBlast #Podcast to feature #faizaguene & Sarah Ardizzone on the writing life, strong women, inner city life, translating Verlan, the 2024 Olympics, Men Don’t Cry & some . . . @CassavaRepublic @RebeccasBooks

Review | Dreamtime, Venetia Welby | Salt Publishing https://bookblast.com/blog/review-dreamtime-venetia-welby-salt-publishing/

From the Archive | Lesley Blanch and Terence Rattigan https://lesleyblanch.com/from-the-archive-lesley-blanch-and-terence-rattigan/

I've signed the @38_degrees petition calling on @marksandspencer to stop labelling unsustainable, factory farmed #salmon as “responsibly sourced”. Will you join me? https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/come-clean-about-the-damage-caused-by-your-farmed-salmon?bucket=&source=twitter-share-button&utm_campaign=blast2021-08-10&utm_medium=socialshare&utm_source=twitter&share=1e8ea934-e918-44aa-894e-07cfec3238b8 via @38_degrees

From the Archive | Lesley Blanch and the Duchess of Windsor https://lesleyblanch.com/from-the-archive-lesley-blanch-and-the-duchess-of-windsor/

https://bookblast.com/blog/lesley-blanch-archive-patchouli/?utm_source=ReviveOldPost&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=ReviveOldPost #bookblastrecommends #countessdicastiglione #courtesansofthebelleepoque #culture #history #lesleyblanch #onthewildershoresoflove #perfume

Guest Review | Sharif Gemie | Beirut 2020: The Collapse of a Civilization, a Journal Charif Majdalani | Mountain Leopard Press https://bookblast.com/blog/guest-review-sharif-gemie-beirut-2020-the-collapse-of-a-civilization-a-journal-charif-majdalani-mountain-leopard-press/

Utterly thrilled to have won the @travelmediawrds National Consumer Feature of the Year for @GuardianTravel for this piece. Thanks as ever to @AndyPietra for commissioning me!

https://bookblast.com/blog/lesley-blanch-archive-ack-ack-a-t-s-and-others-british-vogue-january-1942/?utm_source=ReviveOldPost&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=ReviveOldPost #bookblasts #bookblastmarketing #bookblastpromotes #bookblastpromotions #bookblastrecommends #britishvogue #lesleyblanch #womenatwar

From the Archive | Lesley Blanch and Ludwig Bemelmans https://lesleyblanch.com/from-the-archive-lesley-blanch-and-ludwig-bemelmans/

Lesley Blanch Archive | W.R.N.S. on the Job, British Vogue, November 1941 https://bookblast.com/blog/lesley-blanch-archive%e2%80%95w-r-n-s-on-the-job-british-vogue-november-1941/?utm_source=ReviveOldPost&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=ReviveOldPost #bookblasts #bookblastmarketing #bookblastpromotes #britishvogue #feministhistory #history #lesleyblanch #ministryofinformation #romaingary

As a writer, Blanch explored the key question, “What is a woman?” and "What are her many roles?" The #trailblazers Blanch wrote about were all, in their very different ways, “escaping from the boredom of convention” #liberation #women #memoirs https://amzn.to/3hR4mY4