The Richard Burton Diaries

The Richard Burton Diaries

Book - 2012
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The irresistible, candid diaries of Richard Burton, published in their entirety for the first time

Irresistibly magnetic on stage, mesmerizing in movies, seven times an Academy Award nominee, Richard Burton rose from humble beginnings in Wales to become Hollywood's most highly paid actor and one of England's most admired Shakespearean performers. His epic romance with Elizabeth Taylor, his legendary drinking and story-telling, his dazzling purchases (enormous diamonds, a jet, homes on several continents), and his enormous talent kept him constantly in the public eye. Yet the man behind the celebrity façade carried a surprising burden of insecurity and struggled with the peculiar challenges of a life lived largely in the spotlight. This volume publishes Burton's extensive personal diaries in their entirety for the first time. His writings encompass many years--from 1939, when he was still a teenager, to 1983, the year before his death--and they reveal him in his most private moments, pondering his triumphs and demons, his loves and his heartbreaks. The diary entries appear in their original sequence, with annotations to clarify people, places, books, and events Burton mentions. From these hand-written pages emerges a multi-dimensional man, no mere flashy celebrity. While Burton touched shoulders with shining lights--among them Olivia de Havilland, John Gielgud, Claire Bloom, Laurence Olivier, John Huston, Dylan Thomas, and Edward Albee--he also played the real-life roles of supportive family man, father, husband, and highly intelligent observer. His diaries offer a rare and fresh perspective on his own life and career, and on the glamorous decades of the mid-twentieth century.
Publisher: New Haven : Yale University Press, c2012
ISBN: 9780300180107
Branch Call Number: 792.08 B97r
Characteristics: ix, 693 pages, [16] pages of plates : illustrations ; 24 cm
Additional Contributors: Williams, Chris


From Library Staff

"The inspiring, salacious, sad, materialistic, insecure, arrogant, hilarious and dull ruminations of a most gifted actor", who loved books and the family he created with Elizabeth Taylor.

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Feb 22, 2014

During the heyday of their relationship, Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor virtually invented the public's image of paparazzi-hounded celebrity. In private, Burton kept a diary, recording his observations about Taylor, his extensive reading habits, movies he was working on, travel, other celebrities, housekeeping details, his often heavy drinking, as well as random insights about life.

-Library Journal

Sep 25, 2013

Fascinating to look into the mind and daily recordings of a man as bright, generous, and morose as Richard Burton. A voracious reader, he apparently was also interested in food for he documents his daily meals along with glimpses of the "drunks" of Hollywood and royalty. However, it's also a truly sad book about a soulful love between he and Liz Taylor that went sour - probably because both of them drank themselves into oblivion at times.

meandalex Dec 26, 2012

A complicated man with some interesting insights on people, situations and the world in general. But not a happy man, the only love for him was Elizabeth, he drank too much when he was with her and even more then the marriage ended. He was still writing to her days before he died, in fact she received his last letter after she had been told he was dead. This is an interesting book that puts pay to a lot of what was written about him and those around him, but I did find it a little heavy going at times. It is still worth reading.

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