Read Richard Burton: A Life by Melvyn Bragg Free Online
Book Title: Richard Burton: A Life|
The author of the book: Melvyn Bragg
Edition: Little Brown and Company
Date of issue: February 1st 1989
ISBN 13: 9780316105958
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 4.91 MB
City - Country: No data
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Reader ratings: 5.9
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The main reason to read this book---aside from gaining insight into a great actor and star---is to sample from the diaries Richard Burton kept for the last 17 years of his life. Bragg quotes from those diaries liberally throughout his biography. After a certain point in the chronology, Burton's diaries overtake Bragg's book and that does nothing but benefit Bragg. Burton's input saves Bragg's book from becoming yet another "he went here, he did this" boring life overview.
Another, equally significant reason for reading this book is that it will change the way you view Burton. Through his diaries, Burton is revealed as a closet intellectual---a wide and voracious reader who dipped into everything from cheap paperback thrillers to history and poetry. The diary excerpts form nothing less than an intellectual biography and make for fascinating reading. Burton was much more than Elizabeth Taylor's besotted arm ornament. (Well, he often was besotted, but still. . .)
Yes, this is also something of a "tell-all" expose. There are, for example, guilty pleasures to be had in finding that Burton considered opera diva Maria Callas "dull" and Marlon Brando odd but endearing. His accounts of his and Taylor's spending sprees and travels are also fun, in a soap opera way. But this bubble gum is balanced with more substantial fare---details on Burton's family, work and the various books he used to educate himself and enrich his life.
Until Burton's diaries are published on their own---and as of this writing, I've heard they're being edited for a late 2012 publication---Bragg's book is as close as we can come to them. Once those volumes are released, they will serve as Burton's true legacy. Until then, Bragg's book will do in a pinch.
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Read information about the authorMelvyn Bragg, Baron Bragg, FRSL, FRTS (born 6 October 1939) is an English author, broadcaster and media personality who, aside from his many literary endeavours, is perhaps most recognised for his work on The South Bank Show.
Bragg is a prolific novelist and writer of non-fiction, and has written a number of television and film screenplays. Some of his early television work was in collaboration with Ken Russell, for whom he wrote the biographical dramas The Debussy Film (1965) and Isadora Duncan, the Biggest Dancer in the World (1967), as well as Russell's film about Tchaikovsky, The Music Lovers (1970). He is president of the National Academy of Writing. His 2008 novel, Remember Me is a largely autobiographical story.
He is also a Vice President of the Friends of the British Library, a charity set up to provide funding support to the British Library.
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