Furious Love: Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, and the Marriage of the Century

Furious Love: Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, and the Marriage of the Century

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Furious Love: Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, and the Marriage of the Century by Sam Kashner, Nancy Schoenberger

The definitive story of Hollywood's most famous couple

He was a tough-guy Welshman softened by the affections of a breathtakingly beautiful woman; she was a modern-day Cleopatra madly in love with her own Mark Antony. For nearly a quarter of a century, Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton were Hollywood royalty, and their fiery romance-often called "the marriage of the century"-was the most notorious, publicized, and celebrated love affair of its day.

For the first time, Vanity Fair contributing editor Sam Kashner and acclaimed biographer Nancy Schoenberger tell the complete story of this larger-than-life couple, showing how their romance and two marriages commanded the attention of the world. Also for the first time, in exclusive access given to the authors, Elizabeth Taylor herself gives never-revealed details and firsthand accounts of her life with Burton.

Drawing upon brand-new information and interviews-and on Burton's private, passionate, and heartbreaking letters to Taylor-Furious Love sheds new light on the movies, the sex, the scandal, the fame, the brawls, the booze, the bitter separations, and, of course, the fabled jewels. It offers an intimate glimpse into Elizabeth and Richard's privileged world and their elite circle of friends, among them Princess Grace, Montgomery Clift, the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, Peter O'Toole, Michael Caine, Marlon Brando, Rex Harrison, Mike Nichols, Laurence Olivier, Robert Kennedy, Tennessee Williams, Noel Coward, John Huston, Ava Gardner, the Rothschilds, Maria Callas, and Aristotle Onassis. It provides an entertaining, eye-opening look at their films, their wildly lucrative reign in Europe and in Hollywood-and the price they paid for their extravagant lives.

Shocking and unsparing in its honesty, Furious Love explores the very public marriage of "Liz and Dick" as well as the private struggles of Elizabeth and Richard, including Le Scandale, their affair on the set of the notorious epic Cleopatra that earned them condemnation from the Vatican; Burton's hardscrabble youth in Wales; the crippling alcoholism that nearly destroyed his career and contributed to his early death; the medical issues that plagued both him and Elizabeth; and the failed aspirations and shame that haunted him throughout their relationship. As Kashner and Schoenberger illuminate the events and choices that shaped this illustrious couple's story, they demonstrate how the legendary pair presaged America's changing attitudes toward sex, marriage, morality, and celebrity. Yet ultimately, as the authors show, Elizabeth and Richard shared something priceless beyond the drama: enduring love.

Addictive and entertaining, Furious Love is more than a celebrity biography; it's an honest yet sympathetic portrait of a man, a woman, and a passion that shocked and mesmerized the world.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780061562846
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 06/15/2010
Pages: 500
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.70(d)

About the Author

Sam Kashner, a contributing editor at Vanity Fair, is the author of three books of nonfiction and one novel, Sinatraland.

Table of Contents

Preface vii

1 Le Scandale 1

2 Very Important People 35

3 A Year in the Sun 61

4 No More Marriages 89

5 In from the Cold 109

6 Who's Afraid of Elizabeth Taylor? 133

7 Married Love 157

8 Seduced by Faust 185

9 Boom! 211

10 The Only Game in Town 235

11 "Rings and Farthingales" 257

12 Fallen Stars 281

13 Bluebeard 309

14 Divorce His Divorce Hers 337

15 Massacre in Rome 365

16 Private Lives 395

Epilogue 427

Acknowledgments 439

Two Poems by Richard Burton 443

Endnotes 447

Bibliography 475

Index 481

What People are Saying About This

Kate Walsh

“[Furious Love] is fascinating, heartbreaking, and romantic.”

Douglas Brinkley

“Long before there was Brangelina, the high-wire romance between Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton rocked the world. In Furious Love, Sam Kashner and Nancy Schoenberger provide dramatic historical insights into Hollywood’s stormiest, up-and-down relationship. Every page is riveting. A hit book for sure!”

Patricia Bosworth

“Exciting and well-written, fast-paced yet containing a wealth of information, Furious Love is a fine read.”

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Furious Love 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 85 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I don't usually read biographies and I was only a casual fan of Elizabeth Taylor -- I read of her "adventures, marriages, illnesses, etc. but I wasn't what I would call a real follower of her films and her life. However, I could not put this book down, and I gained a great respect for her after reading it - for her strength, her dignity and her kindnesses to her friends - she has a real inner strength -Richard Burton seemed like a tortured soul, but this book gave a real sense of the love and the unbreakable bond they shared. I actually cried when I read the last few pages - that NEVER happens to me! Their life together and even apart was very poignant- and tragic in a way - I almost hated finishing the book because I became so engrossed in their story - I would highly recommend this book not only to those of us who grew up during their Hollywood Reign, but even today's young people,to learn about the old Hollywood, the glamour, etc. and, it was funny in a way to read how scandalous their spending habits were viewed -- compared to Wall Street greed, the money the Burtons spent was nothing ! Today, your average hedge fund manager spends more and they don't even know what real glamour was. This book did not just portray the movie stars that they were, it gave real insight into the two of them as real people, with real love, real pain,and I think it was very well written.
Kate_Willard More than 1 year ago
Jun 24 2010 By Kate Willard "Realtor" (California) - See all my reviews For anyone who was alive in the 1960's and 70's, we know immediately who is being referred to when we here the names "Richard & Liz." The extravagant, extended, on again, off again love affair between these two Iconic Hollywood figures was tabloid fodder for two decades. This book serves it all up on a deliciously full plate. The books style is not dry and academic, nor is it overly salacious, but it does have a gossipy enough tone that exposes all the juicy details! Ok this is not great literature, but it a fun read that is hard to put down, and I think the authors do stick to the facts (with Liz and Richard truth is stranger than fiction). In the end, their story is a sad one. It seems that their fame may have prevented them from sharing a full life together, as they obviously were in love.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am not a fan of books told by people that never knew the person or never worked with them. I also never liked books where the book was written out of spite or anger. But, when I heard how this book evolved, I knew that I couldn't wait to get my copy of this book. I have always been a fan of Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, but their love, if you can call such intense passion that, was legendary. They had a love that rivaled even the best of the best love stories. I heard that Elizabeth Taylor isn't calling this an authorized biography, but she helped the writers. Just knowing this will help me savor the story that much more. I also recommend another book for sale here on BN.com, it's an inspirational book called When God Stopped Keeping Score. As a divorcee, there is something in that book that helped me move on from my failed marriage. My favorite story is the story of the mother, daughter and the rock. Then, there is the story of the mothers and the ham. Amazing. Just amazing.
Brklynreader More than 1 year ago
Loved this book. I took it with me on vacation and ate it up. I had no idea it would be this good, this involved and personal. I am now renting a lot of the movies talked about in the book as well and watching those in a new light. Also, the book really touched me knowing when this was written E Taylor was still alive. Great love story!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A interesting book
doctor-zhivago More than 1 year ago
A great guilty pleasure read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A great read that gives insight without giving excuses. Despite all the craziness & alcohol, these two seemed to have loved each other as best they could in the midst of spotlights.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The human roller coaster of a life lived to the fullest
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great read for lovers of autobiograpys.
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This was a great read, lots of detail and I got a broad picture of these larger than life actors and the influence they had on the world.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It is unfotunate that the sample is such a disaster. It repeats the first 20 pages or so at least 5 times, even within sections suddenly you are reading a section that sounds familiar! It is difficult to determine the quality of the writing because of the poor technical offering. What I did read was well-written and brought forward insights of two famous actors I saw on stage!
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