In Search of Ruritania

The author was the Ivor Novello Consultant on the Oscar & BAFTA winning film Gosford Park.This is not a sentimental journey, but an honest and affectionate look into the life, work and world of the late Ivor Novello.

In Search of Ruritania

In Search of Ruritania

IVOR NOVELLO'S life and works are celebrated in this special 10th Anniversary Edition of IN SEARCH OF RURITANIA. Updated with new information. Novello will be featured as Composer of the Week for BBC Radio 3 for the first time in its 70 year history - the author was the script advisor and also guest of the week for the Christmas 2016 broadcast. The book has also featured on BBC Radio 2 with Don Black as part of the Great War Centenary Broadcasts. The author was the Ivor Novello Consultant on the Oscar & BAFTA winning film Gosford Park. This is not a sentimental journey, but an honest and affectionate look into the life, work and world of the late Ivor Novello. From his first success as a composer with Keep The Home Fires Burning, he went on to become a revue show composer, film star, successful playwright, actor, and the creator of glamorous Ruritanian musicals that filled the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, in London's West End. Ruritania was a mythical land in which he set these extraordinary musicals, it was a land of his own invention but also one that reflected the historical and social events in the real world around him. Interwoven through Novello's story are accounts of the author's experiences whilst involved with Novello's works. From the tribute concerts at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, to the role he undertook on the film Gosford Park as Novello Consultant. Along the way he has met and interviewed Mary Ellis, who starred in Glamorous Night in 1935; Douglas Fairbanks Jnr, who often stayed at Novello's country home with his wife Joan Crawford; Gordon Duttson, Novello's last secretary and lover; Nicholas Hassall, whose father, Christopher Hassall, was Novello's lyricist and close friend. Novello's sudden death in 1951, aged just 58, was front page news. His funeral route was lined by thousands of fans. His circle of close friends closed ranks to protect his memory. In fact what they achieved was destructive. Within twenty years of his death he was all but forgotten, as if he had never existed.

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