Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Empress of Ireland: A Chronicle of an Unusual Friendship” as Want to Read:
The Empress of Ireland: A Chronicle of an Unusual Friendship
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Empress of Ireland: A Chronicle of an Unusual Friendship

4.06 of 5 stars 4.06  ·  rating details  ·  34 ratings  ·  5 reviews
Christopher Robbins was a down-at-the-heels freelance journalist in London when a "friend"—an expat American drug dealer who masqueraded as a count—linked him up with an elderly gay Irishman, purportedly the "greatest Irish filmmaker ever"—which turned out to be the case. Brian Desmond Hurst had made some thirty films in his eighty years (including A Christmas Carol, Tom B ...more
Paperback, 400 pages
Published April 27th 2005 by Da Capo Press
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Empress of Ireland, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Empress of Ireland

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 82)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Ivan
Brian Desmond Hurst was a soldier (a veteran of the Gallipoli campaign), a film director (his best remembered effort being the Alistair Sim version of "A Christmas Carol"), and, in the end, equal parts dreamer, grifter and raconteur.

We meet up with Hurst well into his twilight years. Journalist Christopher Robbins is sent to meet the openly gay (and still quite frisky) Hurst, who is searching for a fresh young talent to pen a screenplay about the events leading up to the birth of Christ. A chan
...more
Stephanie
This review originally appeared at www.readinasinglesitting.com.

Last year I read the wonderful MacRobertsonland, a rich biography of a once-renowned Melburnian chocolatier and entrepreneur whose name now only rings the scarcest of bells: his Willy Wonka-like empire has dwindled to a trio of chocolate bars and a high school named in his honour. In The Empress of Ireland, a ripping novelesque biography of filmmaker Brian Desmond Hurst, I again found myself marvelling at how a larger-than-life, pro
...more
joe
Apr 24, 2007 joe rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: irish, gays, screenwriters, gluttons
This is a great memoir about someone completely different from the author. It is not often that biographies are so subjective. Pretty unique.

UNIQUE. what a word.

The Empress of Ireland reminded me of a diverse array of other books. The perspective and protagonist are very much like Christopher Isherwood's Berlin Stories; it is not surprising then, when the man who inspired Mr Norris (i think that's his name) of Berlin Stories appears in Empress.

The abundance of openly homosexual content was a mi
...more
Kyle
Christopher Robbins account of his long friendship with Brian Desmond Hurst, a gay eccentric East Belfastman who directed 30 films which included Scrooge and The Malta Story with Alec Guinness. Hurst was a colourful character - a great read.
Pam
too much emphasis on his sexual orientation. really a pointless book.
Holley Mclellan
Holley Mclellan marked it as to-read
Mar 06, 2015
Elliott
Elliott marked it as to-read
Apr 06, 2015
Taylar
Taylar marked it as to-read
Nov 29, 2014
Michelle Jonas
Michelle Jonas marked it as to-read
Sep 07, 2014
Jake Hayward
Jake Hayward marked it as to-read
Aug 20, 2014
Kasia Trzepacz
Kasia Trzepacz marked it as to-read
Aug 17, 2014
Merete Aasen
Merete Aasen marked it as to-read
May 20, 2014
Jennifer
Jennifer marked it as to-read
Apr 24, 2014
Roberta
Roberta marked it as to-read
Mar 20, 2014
Sair
Sair marked it as to-read
Feb 09, 2014
Carlos
Carlos marked it as to-read
Oct 27, 2013
Jessica
Jessica marked it as to-read
Oct 16, 2013
Irene
Irene marked it as to-read
Aug 09, 2013
Manuel Martinez perdomo
Manuel Martinez perdomo marked it as to-read
Aug 04, 2013
Braden
Braden marked it as to-read
Jul 26, 2013
Audrey Dutton
Audrey Dutton is currently reading it
May 19, 2013
« previous 1 3 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
180551
Christopher Robbins began his career in journalism at the age of sixteen when he started writing jazz criticism for the Daily Telegraph. Since then he has written for numerous newspapers and magazines in Britain, Europe and the USA.

The Empress of Ireland won the Saga Award for wit, along with exceptional critical acclaim. In Search of Kazakhstan was short-listed for the Authors’ Club Best Travel B
...more
More about Christopher Robbins...
Apples Are from Kazakhstan: The Land That Disappeared The Ravens: The Men Who Flew In America's Secret War In Laos Air America: The Explosive Inside Story Of The CIA's Supersecret Airline The Test of Courage: Michel Thomas Assassin: a terrifying true story

Share This Book