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

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
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)
Rating details
Sort: Default
|
Filter
Ivan
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
...more
joe
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
...more
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
...more
Megan
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
Kyle
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.
Conor Murphy
rated it liked it
Mar 29, 2013
Hermann
rated it really liked it
May 28, 2011
Scarlet
rated it liked it
Feb 21, 2016
Cliff
rated it it was ok
Sep 27, 2015
Marjorie S Smith
rated it it was ok
Jan 27, 2012
Chris
rated it it was amazing
Jun 06, 2011
Timothy Fox
rated it it was amazing
Feb 03, 2013
Avril Egan
rated it it was amazing
Jan 05, 2017
David Keogh
rated it really liked it
Jan 10, 2010
Alexander Miller
rated it it was amazing
Jan 28, 2013
Genoveva Cervantez
rated it it was amazing
Jan 08, 2016
Lara Viljoen
rated it did not like it
Mar 24, 2015
Jonathan
rated it it was amazing
Sep 14, 2013
Julie
rated it it was amazing
Apr 10, 2012
Elizabeth Wiggs
rated it liked it
Jan 15, 2009
Louisa
rated it liked it
Sep 06, 2012
Diane Madill
rated it it was amazing
Feb 26, 2013
Boyd
rated it liked it
Dec 26, 2015
David Keogh
rated it really liked it
Jul 23, 2011
Nick
rated it liked it
May 27, 2016
Elizabeth
rated it really liked it
Mar 15, 2008
Peter Teague
rated it really liked it
Jan 19, 2017
Undreya
rated it liked it
Feb 26, 2012
Mike
rated it really liked it
Aug 18, 2015
Zoi
rated it really liked it
Jul 19, 2012
« previous 1 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Goodreads Librari...: Page Count Change Needed 3 186 Oct 29, 2016 06:28PM  
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...