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The West End Front The Wartime Secrets of London's Grand Hotels by Matthew Sweet
  

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The ideal book for your Christmas holiday reading, a gossipy and revealing history with Matthew Sweet probing into many hidden secret affairs, plots and assignations. What I particularly liked about his previous book on the British film industry, Shepperton Babylon was his ability to track down the frail and forgotten stars of our Silent Film era, interviewing them with great sympathy and gaining many wonderful candid interviews as a result. He does the same here in West End Front. He gets back to the source, or as near as possible, to find out the truth from those who were there or knew those involved. It makes for some very arresting revelations and rounds out many of the stories contained here. If you haven’t read Matthew Sweet before then do search out Shepperton Babylon, like West End Front, an absolute fund of stories.

Synopsis

The West End Front The Wartime Secrets of London's Grand Hotels by Matthew Sweet

The Ritz, the Savoy, the Dorchester and Claridge's - during the Second World War they teemed with spies, con-artists, deposed royals and the exiled governments of Europe. Meet the girl from MI5 who had the gravy browning licked from her legs by Dylan Thomas; the barman who was appointed the keeper of Churchill's private bottle of whisky; the East End Communist who marched with his comrades into the air-raid shelter of the Savoy; and, the throneless prince born in a suite at Claridge's declared Yugoslav territory for one night only. Matthew Sweet has interviewed them all for this account of the extraordinary events that unfolded under the reinforced ceilings of London's grand hotels. Using the memories of first-hand witnesses, the contents of newly declassified government files and a wealth of previously unpublished letters, memoirs and photographs, he has reconstructed a lost world of scandal, intrigue and fortitude.

About the Author

Matthew Sweet

Matthew Sweet presents Night Waves and Freethinking on BBC Radio 3, and is the summer presenter of The Film Programme on Radio Four. He is the author of Inventing the Victorians and Shepperton Babylon, which he adapted as a film for BBC Four. His TV programmes include Silent Britain, A Brief History of Fun, The Age of Excess, Truly, Madly, Cheaply and The Rules of Film Noir.

Author photo © Lisa Bowerman

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Book Info

Publication date

30th November 1999

Author

Matthew Sweet

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Publisher

Format

Hardback

Categories

History
Biography / Autobiography


ISBN

9780571234776

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