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Audrey Hepburn, An Elegant Spirit

4.29  ·  Rating Details ·  2,032 Ratings  ·  201 Reviews
Now in paperback, an intimate look at the woman the world adored, by the son who adored her with unique photos, drawings, and other rare Audrey memorabilia.

She dazzled millions as Gigi. Eliza Doolittle. Holly Golightly. But to her most adoring fan, Audrey Hepburn was best known for her role as “Mummy.”

In this heartfelt tribute to his mother, Sean Hepburn Ferrer offers a r
Paperback, 256 pages
Published April 5th 2005 by Atria Books (first published October 28th 2003)
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The Rent Collector by Camron WrightRemembrandt by Robin M. KingWhat Alice Forgot by Liane MoriartyAudrey Hepburn, An Elegant Spirit by Sean Hepburn FerrerEdenbrooke by Julianne Donaldson
2015 Delicious Reads Book Club
4th out of 59 books — 24 voters
Audrey Hepburn, An Elegant Spirit by Sean Hepburn FerrerAudrey Hepburn by Barry ParisHow to be Lovely by Melissa HellsternAudrey Hepburn by Diana MaychickEnchantment by Donald Spoto
Audrey Hepburn
1st out of 30 books — 3 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Aug 19, 2015 Ryan rated it liked it
I thought it was an ok book though she did have a fascinating life.
Please don't tell any of my guy friends that I read a book in Audrey Hepburn :-)
Dawn Kemmerlin
Feb 08, 2011 Dawn Kemmerlin rated it it was amazing
I have always loved Audrey Hepburn so of course I had to have this book. I grew to admire her even more while reading this book. Audrey's humility and capacity for forgiveness and love is remarkable. I loved how her son related how she refused to sit in first class on a plane. She felt she was no better than anyone else, so why should she sit in first class? Also, her ability to forgive her father and then care for him when he was ailing can be a lesson for all of us about the power of forgivene ...more
Carol *Young at Heart Oldie*
Aug 14, 2010 Carol *Young at Heart Oldie* rated it it was amazing
A beautiful and touching book. Sean Hepburn Ferrer's deep love for his mother is evident on every page. He tells her story with dignity and respect and offers a rare and intimate glimpse into her life. Audrey Hepburn truly was beautiful not only on the outside but also on the inside.

"She really was like those characters you saw in the movies: emotional, courageous, delicate, romantic." (Sean Hepburn Ferrer)

"God kissed her on the cheek and there she was." (Billy Wilder)

"Is there anything more im
Birgitte Bach
Sep 21, 2016 Birgitte Bach rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2016
Meget bevægende og intimt portræt af den berømte skuespillerinde, fortalt af hendes søn.
Jan 26, 2011 Gabrielle rated it really liked it
I have read several biographies about Audrey Hepburn, and this was by far the most touching. Her son tells her life story from her childhood in war-torn Holland to her enormous fame as an actress and her later work as a UNICEF ambassador. The book also contains almost 300 photographs from family albums and various publicity shoots. Audrey's caring spirit is captured not only in the way her son remembers her as a mother but also in the work she did for UNICEF. In reading this, her son's admiratio ...more
Lorraine Bratcher
Jun 21, 2016 Lorraine Bratcher rated it liked it
This book was different than what I originally thought. It was ok and I liked his thoughts of his mother but they seemed to ramble especially at the beginning. The last few chapters had more meaning and flowed better. It was lovely to see how kindhearted Audrey Hepburn was and that her son seems to have followed in her footsteps.
Sophia K.
Oct 13, 2016 Sophia K. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-october-16
Amazing, touching book. The untold life of Audrey Hepburn. It was long and it is a nonfiction book, but there are a lot of pictures and the reading goes by quick. Some parts were hard to circulate through the brain, but I have a hard time with non fiction books anyway, so it could just be me. Audrey Hepburn's life isn't all smiles and acting. She grew up starving during World War 2, and then she came back to help the institution that helped her when she was little, UNICEF. Through UNICEF, she sa ...more
Aug 03, 2016 Morgan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, 2014
Oh Audrey <333

This was a treat to read. It made me laugh, cry, smile.

And it made me wish that I knew Audrey. (as i often do)

I'm always taken aback at how ordinary she was. Of course, she was also extraordinary and special and talented, but she only ever saw herself as plain. And all the beautifully candid home photos showed that. Those were my favorites, she seemed so happy and at peace when around her family and friends.

If you're an Audrey fan, or simply want to know more about her, definite
Jan 01, 2016 Ella rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
What a lovely, touching biography. The fact that it was written by her son makes it all the more beautiful, and I loved the photos, both family and professional, scattered throughout the book. I already loved and admired Audrey Hepburn before reading both this and Audrey Style, but getting to find out more about her as a person, what others close to her thought of her, and about her life has only increased my awe and admiration for her. Her class, elegance, humility, and inner and outer beauty w ...more
Mar 27, 2016 Alice rated it it was amazing
If you do not already love her you may after reading this book. Written by her son, it is an intimate yet not intrusive view into who she was to her family and friends. This book allows you in on the incredible person that Audrey Hepburn was, the legacy she has left not only through her unique style but also through her example as a star who used her incredible charisma to improve the lives of countless children through UNICEF.
Jan 08, 2010 Elena rated it it was amazing
I just finished reading AUDREY HEPBURN, AN ELEGANT SPIRIT which when I received as a birthday gift I thought would merely adorn my coffee table forever and ever. I was terribly mistaken and although the photos are worthy of any coffee table book, it is also a captivating read about a woman who was as beautiful on the inside as she was on the outside. The book is a moving testimony of a son about his incomparable and unforgettable mother. Anyone who has lost a beloved parent could not help but be ...more
Feb 22, 2010 Samantha rated it it was amazing
I read thisbook in less than 2 days. I started it on the way down to see my grandparents. I was on the last 20 pages, with less than 5 minutes of travel left. I had to stop because I found myself silently crying in the backseat of the car. I was so touched by the description that her son gave of the day that she died. It brought back the memories of my own grandmothers passing. I felt like I was reading the transcript of that day. The entire book was full of beautiful pictures of Audrey and her ...more
Brandon Fryman
Jul 28, 2010 Brandon Fryman rated it really liked it
I love people people like this. I have been recently been looking up Audrey Hepburn and I think this was a wonderful tribute to the woman, humanitarian, mother, actress etc. I recently lost my grandmother, who was also my best friend, and this book really hit home with comments made by the author who also is the son of Audrey Hepburn. I strive to live by the words made by people like her. The pictures, the biography, the humanitarian side, the sons comments are all wonderful. I thank Sean Ferrer ...more
Jun 12, 2011 Sharon rated it it was amazing
Such a beautiful, touching, well presented and intimate memoir. Written by her son, and describing her life from the childhood struggles she endured through the war, her famous films to her charity work in Somalia with UNICEF before her death, Audrey is portrayed exactly as she has been remembered, as an inspiration to us all. Containing everything from personal family photos, passport photos, letters, speeches and childhood drawings this took me into her life, made me cry at times and left me m ...more
Audrey K.
Jun 22, 2016 Audrey K. rated it liked it
Sean Hepburn Ferrer, Audrey Hepburn's son, expresses his admiration and love for his mother in this book packed with beautiful pictures. I appreciated learning more about Ms. Hepburn's work with UNICEF. Sam Levenson is credited with the lovely poem enjoyed by Audrey Hepburn and her family, which concludes the book. "For attractive lips, speak words of kindness. For lovely eyes, seek out the good in people...." For the entire poem, go to this link:
Jul 08, 2013 Bethany rated it it was ok
He spoke so much about his idea to write a book about his mother, that half the book was about that- and not about his mother. His stories were all out of chronological order as well, which drove me crazy.

That said, there were a few interesting personal stories about Audrey, and lots of fun pictures. I really admire and respect her. She was an incredible person- whether she believed it or not.
Apr 23, 2008 Kirstin rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone who wishes to be inspired to be a better person.
Audrey Hepburn has held a very special place in my heart for as long as I can remember, and as a result I have read a good amount of the biographies that have been written about her. This one, written by her son Sean, is absolutely the best of the bunch.
Jul 29, 2015 Anne rated it liked it
The photos were wonderful, needless to say, but I found the text a little overblown and repetitive.
Felicia Moore
May 06, 2015 Felicia Moore rated it it was amazing
very good bio on Audrey Hepburn
Oct 20, 2016 Tink rated it it was amazing
If you want something that's going to open your eyes to a person you've only seen on screen, this is it. Of the biographies of Audrey that I have read thus far, this has to be one of the best. It's raw, genuine, and sometimes even dark (if you know her life, you know why).

Tip: have a box of tissues at the ready! Never has a biography made me cry so hard!
Sep 28, 2016 Emily rated it it was amazing
This book was a perfect read. An intimate, warm, and affectionate telling of Audrey Hepburn's life by her son. It's full of family photos of her, her drawings and paintings, her favorite things like her garden and her various dogs (she loved dogs!). Her philosophies about life as told by someone who knew her his whole life.

This was such a lovely read. Highly recommended if you have even a passing interest in Audrey Hepburn.
Cass -  Words on Paper
A quick read, completed in about 2 hours.

An Elegant Spirit. What utterly special and profound words with which one can be described. The prolific and highly-esteemed actress' son's (Sean Hepburn Ferrer) account truly does exemplify and magnify her ever-lasting elegance and strength in sadness. She is a brilliant and inspirational woman who rose from such a trying upbringing. If only every single person could employ a little bit of Audrey's spirit inside themselves, then the world would surely be
Sep 26, 2016 Monkiecat rated it it was amazing
This was a loving tribute to a mother, as well as the biography of a legend. I cried all the way through it.
Nov 21, 2015 Elizabeth rated it it was amazing
“Audrey Hepburn an elegant spirit” is an exceptional book that shares audrey's rise to stardom and how she manages to stay on the top and leave an outstanding legacy form each and every one of her performances to her simple yet elegant style that changed the fashion world as we know it and also to her outstanding work as a goodwill ambassador for UNICEF which she did up until her last days. Although Audrey is known as all of these things the book lets us see a different side of audrey that we mi ...more
Brooke P
May 01, 2014 Brooke P rated it it was amazing
Audrey Hepburn, an elegant spirit
Sean Hepburn ferrer

From her opinion on kitchen tiles to the devastating details of her death, it’s all here. You’d be surprised by the things her son talks about in this book. Some of the things I never would have imagined. Details on all her films such as Roman Holiday or Breakfast at Tiffany’s are very well communicated. Sean gets very personal about Audrey, even including copies of her ID’s from her childhood and amazing drawings she made as a youngster. She
Nov 21, 2008 wanderaven rated it it was amazing
Recommended to wanderaven by: Keri
I found only one drawback to this book and it certainly wasn't enough to make me drop a star. As other reviewers have noted, Sean, Audrey's son, is the only one who could have written this book with such love and intimacy. I truly don't have any interest in reading any other biographies about Audrey (I do have one other but it's mostly pictoral) since they wouldn't have the same intimacy and truth. However - and it is truly difficult to impart this criticism as he writes with such love and devot ...more
Melissa Conner
Dec 21, 2011 Melissa Conner rated it it was amazing
She’s been well loved for years. Whether it be through her work on the dance floor, her grace behind the camera, her compassion for impoverished children all over the world, or her permanent print in the fashion industry, Audrey Hepburn has, at one time or another, touched all our hearts.

In this beautiful and poetic dedication to his beloved mother, Audrey’s son, Sean Hepburn Ferrer, fondly remembers a woman not many people knew…Sure we all remember Audrey from Breakfast at Tiffany’s, My Fair La
Mar 05, 2013 Melanie rated it it was amazing
Shelves: biographies
A beautiful tribute written by a loving son about his angel mother. If you're looking for a biography about Audrey Hepburn that has the nitty-gritty details about her failed marriages, bad habits or negative encounters with the paparazzi, you'd better look elsewhere. Instead, this book respectfully tells the life story of a beautiful woman who had the blessed luck of being discovered for her beauty and poise after growing up in the throes of World War II. Although she spent several years delight ...more
Deborah Takahashi
Dec 09, 2014 Deborah Takahashi rated it it was amazing
Shelves: biographies
In this absolutely stunning biography by Audrey Hepburn's eldest son, Sean Hepburn Ferrer,readers get to an intimate look behind the woman who every woman wants to be. Behind the beautiful face, was a fragile woman who not only experienced starvation and an absent father, but was so humble that she wouldn't even watch her own movies. Despite two failed marriages, Audrey Hepburn was a devoted mother whom was adored by both her sons. Sean Hepburn Ferrer's tone is one of admiration, undying love, a ...more
Liz VanDerwerken
A beautifully written account of an incredible woman. I think most of us are already familiar with Audrey's life and filmography as viewers of her films, and I loved this more intimate view of her personal life—her joy in motherhood and who she was at her core.

I love that so much of this book talked about her work with UNICEF; I adore Audrey Hepburn as a world-class actress and style icon, but even more so because she gave a voice to underserved populations who had none. I want to research more
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Son of Audrey Hepburn and Mel Ferrer, born in 1960.
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“She lived her life believing in the power of simplicity. Whether it had to do with fashion, work or relationships, she used to say, "Boil it all down to what counts the most: What is the essence of what you are trying to do, what is the most important thing? Things only get complicated when you are trying to address too many issues.” 12 likes
“She was a very good cook and also believed that color combinations of the food on your plate were important: "It isn't very interesting to eat a plate full of white, therefore it can't be very good for you either.” 5 likes
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