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.
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)