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Priscilla: The Hidden Life of an Englishwoman in Wartime France

Thursday 27 March 2014

1 Hour


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Award-winning novelist and biographer Nicholas Shakespeare uncovered a new and unexpected side to his late aunt when he came across a box of documents. The Priscilla he found in the resulting investigation was glamorous, morally ambiguous and living the dangerous life of an Englishwoman in occupied France. He finds out why her marriage to a French aristocrat broke down, why she was interned in a prisoner-of-war camp and how she escaped, and uncovers the Otto she was having an affair with when Paris was liberated. Along the way, Shakespeare gained access to first-hand accounts and information about life in occupied France.

Shakespeare is a novelist and biographer. His novels include The Vision of Elena Silves, winner of the Somerset Maugham Award and Betty Trask Award, and Snowleg, shortlisted for the 2004 Booker. His biography of Bruce Chatwin was published to widespread acclaim, and he has produced several extended biographies for television including of Chatwin and of Evelyn Waugh and Mario Vargas Llosa.