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  • Malice in Wonderland

  • My Adventures in the World of Cecil Beaton
  • By: Hugo Vickers
  • Narrated by: Hugo Vickers
  • Length: 11 hrs and 19 mins
  • 4.1 out of 5 stars (21 ratings)

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Malice in Wonderland

By: Hugo Vickers
Narrated by: Hugo Vickers
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Summary

The witty and perceptive diaries kept by Cecil Beaton's authorised biographer during his many fascinating encounters with extraordinary - often legendary - characters in his search for the real Cecil Beaton.

Hugo Vickers's life took a dramatic turn in 1979 when the legendary Sir Cecil Beaton invited him to be his authorised biographer. The excitement of working with the famous photographer was dashed only days later when Cecil Beaton died. But the journey had begun - Vickers was entrusted with Beaton's papers, diaries and, most importantly, access to his friends and contemporaries. The resulting book, first published in 1985, was a best seller. 

In Malice in Wonderland, Vickers shares excerpts from his personal diaries kept during this period. For five years, Vickers travelled the world and talked to some of the most fascinating and important social and cultural figures of the time, including royalty such as the Queen Mother and Princess Margaret, film stars such as Grace Kelly, Audrey Hepburn and Julie Andrews, writers such as Truman Capote and photographers such as Irving Penn and Horst. And not only Beaton's friends - Vickers sought out the enemies too, notably Irene Selznick. He was taken under the wings of Lady Diana Cooper, Clarissa Avon and Diana Vreeland.

Drawn into Beaton's world and accepted by its members, Vickers the emerging biographer also began his own personal adventure. The outsider became the insider - Beaton's friends became his friends. Malice in Wonderland is a fascinating portrait of a now disappeared world, and vividly and sensitively portrays some of its most fascinating characters as we travel with Vickers on his quest.

©2021 Hugo Vickers (P)2021 Hodder & Stoughton Ltd

What listeners say about Malice in Wonderland

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13 Hours of My Life I'll Never Get Back Again!

Like listening to 'Groundhog Day' for the upper classes except, not half as enjoyable or entertaining as the film of the same name! Lost the will to live after Chapter 3. Couldn't delete the 1 star for story!

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ALL ABOUT MOI

Ostensibly a book about Cecil Beaton but in fact just an excuse for Hugo Vickers to write about himself with an endless catalogue of people he had met. Not helped by the monotone, dreary delivery. 11 hours of my life I will never get back.

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Malice in Wonderland

I enjoyed this book greatly. thank you ,
it was well narrated and I loved hearing about Hugo's liaisons with such people I can only dream of ever mixing with thankyou

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Hugo Vickers quest for Cecil

Nope. Here Vickers had the opportunity of a lifetime and blew it. Quite the opposite of James Pope -Hennesy in his quest for queen Mary( Abfab!) While the actual book about Cecil Beaton is brilliant by Hugo, Pope - Hennesys history of Quen Mary is a total bore.
Why? Hugo Vickers is simply not a man born with humor, he is dry and spot on, factual and thorough in his writing and manners. Pope - Hennesy was funny and a social genius and he shared it . I have grown to like Hugo Vickers, but this, no no no....

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No morals

Vickers recounts tales of a group of 20th Century glitterati who lived totally without moral compass, their hedonistic lifestyles.

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Fascinating insight into the colourful world leading biographer

I hugely enjoyed listening to this being read brilliantly by Hugo Vickers.

His biographies of such hugely interesting people as Gladys Duchess of Malbrough and Cecil Beaton along with the excellent insights he gives, had always made me curious about the people he must have cleverly interviewed along the way. So much is covered here and it entertaining and at times captivating!

Generously shared is a phone interview with Audrey Hepburn.

I’ll miss this book I think for quite some time

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A sublime and fascinating diary.

Hugo Vickers Diary and memories of Cecil Beaton and his world is almost perfect reading. The author writes so sympathetically and yet with great insight into the many many men and women who peopled Cecil Beaton's life.
I absolutely adored listening to this Audible edition and will listen again and again.