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The Empress of Ireland: A Chronicle of an Unusual Friendship
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The Empress of Ireland: A Chronicle of an Unusual Friendship

3.87  ·  Rating details ·  45 Ratings  ·  6 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, 343 pages
Published April 27th 2005 by Da Capo Press
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Nov 12, 2009 rated it it was amazing
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
Mar 19, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  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
Colm Mccrory
Aug 23, 2016 rated it really liked it
Excellent book.
The story of the largely forgotten 'magnificent old (Northern) Irish bugger', Brian Desmond Hurst. A Belfast protestant who converted to Catholicism, he directed many films, most memorably 'Scrooge' with Alistair Sim. The book is written from the point of view of a young journalist who meets him in his later years, still leading a fairly outrageous life in London, Ronnie Wood even makes a rare appearance. He decides the journalist will write his next film, the story of the lead up
Jun 03, 2010 rated it it was ok
This was a rambling story told about an interesting character. While I liked the writing style, the organization left much to be desired and could have used a good editor. I also couldn't quite get the point of the memoir until the very end and other than that it was a challenge book, was not very motivated to finish. Not worth reading. 2 stars
May 03, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
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Goodreads Librari...: Page Count Change Needed 3 186 Oct 29, 2016 06:28PM  
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 about Christopher Robbins...