Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “A Night at the Majestic” as Want to Read:
A Night at the Majestic
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

A Night at the Majestic

3.35  ·  Rating details ·  89 Ratings  ·  18 Reviews
One May night in 1922, in a grand hotel in Paris, five of the greatest artists of the 20th century sat down to supper. It would be the only time that novelists Joyce and Proust, the young painter Picasso, choreographer Diaghilev and the composer Stravinsky were in a room together. Each of these exponents of early twentieth-century modernism was at the peak of his creative ...more
Published February 15th 2007 by Faber Faber (first published 2006)
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 A Night at the Majestic, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about A Night at the Majestic

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
Sort: Default
May 21, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Paris, 1922, a midnight supper party was held at the Majestic (now the
Raphael) by UK art collectors Sydney & Violet Schiff to salute Modernism and the Ballets Russes. It was the only time in history that Stravinsky, Diaghilev, Picasso, Joyce and Proust ever shared a table. The party went on until dawn with players coming and going while sipping champagne, nibbling caviar and forking sole Waleska (with a slight cheese flavor) or noisettes of lamb. The event was the climax of Proust's appearan
Jun 19, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very interesting book that takes as its focus one of the last dinners that Proust attended before his death. Guests included James Joyce, Picasso, Stravinsky, and other luminaries. Quite the gathering. I will say that this is the book that provided fundamental insights that have formed my understanding of Proust and his work. Quite a straightforward insight - that the title should be translated- Redeeming Lost Time - in the sense of finding something of value in the trivial pursuits of a lifet ...more
George Ilsley
There is a lot of information here, and a lot of detail and ultimately it is quite boring. Certainly one learns more about the Schiffs than is really necessary. And I agree with other reviewers here who consider the title and the framing of this book to be misleading. Perhaps a title such as "Proust's Last Few Months" would not attract readers.
May 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
Title is misleading. Book is really all about Proust. As I'm into Proust, I found it interesting and informative.
Jul 24, 2012 rated it liked it
Interesting overview of Proust's life and particularly the impact on it of writing his novel. The night referred to in the title is despatched, albeit comprehensively, in the first chapter, after which Davenport-Hines settles for more straightforward biography with occasional call-outs to other modernist tropes and individuals. Proust's various compatriots, rivals and hangers-on are covered in detail. He is particularly strong on exploring the implications and social effects of Proust's homosexu ...more
Adam Dalva
A tale of three books, one disappointing, one unnecessary, one good. The pretense of structuring the action around the one night that Joyce and Proust met must have been a great launching point for Davenport-Hines, but despite the interesting personalities at the party in question (Diaghilev! Picasso!), nothing much happens and the action devolves into senseless name-dropping (at one point, he compares the big night to a meeting between Joan Collins and Schwarzenegger). It's a shame, because a s ...more
Kyle Pennekamp
May 22, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I called it a day after about 1/3 of this book. It really felt like the author found the interesting historical footnote of a party that Picasso, Joyce, and Proust were all at the same party. And then he sold the book proposal. And then realized that there really wasn't enough here for a book. And realized he still had a contract for a book, so compiled some very basic and previously-known biographical facts about Proust and the other guests, then strung them along in chronological order.

There w
Oct 26, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A short biography of Proust, concentrating on his final few years. At the start, it seems to want to be about the famously inconsequential meeting of Proust and Joyce, but Joyce quickly slips out of sight and the focus shifts to Proust's relationship with the hosts at the meeting at the Majestic, Sydney and Violet Schiff. (Sydney created the generally disregarded and discarded translation of Time Regained after Scott Moncrieff's death).
Aug 15, 2012 rated it liked it
This is without doubt a useful and interesting book for any fan of Proust's, but the endless name-dropping becomes overwhelming after a while, and there doesn't seem to be any real heart to the book. I certainly learnt a lot, and I felt it was a good introduction to Proust, but somehow it failed to engage me. Pity.
Aug 20, 2008 rated it liked it
Gets a bit bogged down in name dropping lists of who attended dinners where and when in Paris in the 1920s. You have to plough through all that to reach the moment you are waiting for - the encounter of Joyce and Proust. It's a long wait.
Jul 09, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Provided me with many new insights into Proust. I will now have to re-read Proust yet again, discover new pleasures and nuances missed on earlier, younger, readings. I found Davenport's death chapter, i.e. the last chapter, poignant, superb. It's all in the little patch of yellow wall.
The end of Proust at the end of an Epoque Paris and France. I want to spend more time reading Proust and about his life in future years. There's a gap that needs filling. He was certainly engaged with society, even from his asthmatic's cork lined bedroom.
Jan 06, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There is a boatload of names in this book. A snapshot of Paris society in the early 20th century, involving so far. Very daunting but incredibly informative.
Jan 05, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: paris, literature
Een afknapper. Veelbelovende docufictie of ontmoeting tussen Proust, Joyce, Stravinsky en Picasso in Parijs. Maar zeer magere, saaie uitwerking.
May 22, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Light, pleasant read about Proust. Lacks robust organization and borders on being a collection of random anecdotes, but D-H is such a fantastic writer it's hard to fault the book.
Guy Cranswick
Apr 26, 2010 rated it liked it
Interesting as far as it goes but a slight anti climax given the material and times.
Mar 19, 2008 rated it did not like it
Boring old farts, except they weren't even old!
rated it liked it
Feb 10, 2009
Joshua Disneyq
rated it liked it
Jun 02, 2017
Melody Puller
rated it it was amazing
Jul 04, 2013
rated it liked it
Apr 21, 2017
rated it it was ok
Nov 16, 2013
rated it really liked it
Mar 15, 2012
Tim Engle
rated it it was ok
Jan 22, 2016
Mike Lynch
rated it liked it
May 06, 2013
rated it liked it
Oct 28, 2011
Dave Holmes
rated it really liked it
Sep 21, 2014
rated it it was ok
May 08, 2013
rated it it was amazing
Dec 20, 2016
rated it liked it
Jul 19, 2013
« previous 1 3 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Marcel Proust: A Life
  • Letters of Marcel Proust
  • Marcel Proust: A Life
  • Proust's Way: A Field Guide to In Search of Lost Time
  • Marcel Proust
  • Something to Declare: Essays on France
  • Monsieur Proust
  • T.S. Eliot: An Imperfect Life
  • Sade: A Biography
  • Paintings in Proust: A Visual Companion to In Search of Lost Time
  • The Year of Reading Proust: A Memoir in Real Time
  • What Lips My Lips Have Kissed: The Loves and Love Poems of Edna St. Vincent Millay
  • Modernism: The Lure of Heresy from Baudelaire to Beckett and Beyond
  • Proust's Overcoat: The True Story of One Man's Passion for All Things Proust
  • La Folie Baudelaire
  • Count d'Orgel's Ball
  • Realism
  • Mémoires d'Outre-Tombe

Nonfiction Deals

  • Hope and Other Luxuries: A Mother's Life with a Daughter's Anorexia
    $19.99 $2.99
  • Manic: A Memoir
    $12.99 $1.99
  • Who Gets What — and Why: The New Economics of Matchmaking and Market Design
    $9.99 $2.99
  • The Card Catalog: Books, Cards, and Literary Treasures
    $19.99 $1.99
  • Without a Doubt
    $5.99 $2.49
  • The Trip to Echo Spring: On Writers and Drinking
    $9.99 $3.99
  • Paris Letters
    $14.99 $2.99
  • Fear: Essential Wisdom for Getting Through the Storm
    $13.74 $1.99
  • My Cross to Bear
    $11.24 $1.99
  • The Warrior Ethos
    $6.99 $1.99
  • A Chance in this world
    $5.99 $0.99
  • It's Easier Than You Think: The Buddhist Way to Happiness
    $13.99 $1.99
  • A Deadly Game: The Untold Story of the Scott Peterson Investigation
    $14.99 $1.99
  • Everyday Zen
    $11.24 $1.99
  • In Harm's Way: The Sinking of the U.S.S. Indianapolis and the Extraordinary Story of Its Survivors
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Somebody Else's Kids
    $7.99 $1.99
  • Maude
    $2.99 $1.49
  • Here Is Where: Discovering America's Great Forgotten History
    $10.99 $1.99
  • Mindful Eating: A Guide to Rediscovering a Healthy and Joyful Relationship with Food (Revised Edition)
    $13.99 $1.99
  • The Rational Optimist (P.S.)
    $14.49 $2.99
  • Bored and Brilliant: How Spacing Out Can Unlock Your Most Productive & Creative Self
    $13.99 $2.99
  • Of Wolves and Men (Scribner Classics)
    $9.99 $1.99
  • God: A Story of Revelation
    $8.74 $1.99
  • Ben & Jerry's Homemade Ice Cream & Dessert Book
    $10.95 $1.99
  • The Story of the Jews: Finding the Words, 1000 BC - 1492 AD
    $13.99 $2.99
  • I'm Your Man: The Life of Leonard Cohen
    $11.74 $1.99
  • Unseen: The Gift of Being Hidden in a World That Loves to Be Noticed
    $9.99 $2.99
  • I'd Like to Apologize to Every Teacher I Ever Had: My Year as a Rookie Teacher at Northeast High
    $11.99 $1.99
  • Things I've Been Silent About
    $4.99 $1.99
  • GI Brides: The Wartime Girls Who Crossed the Atlantic for Love
    $8.49 $2.99
  • The Romanov Sisters: The Lost Lives of the Daughters of Nicholas and Alexandra
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Dharma Punx: A Memoir
    $11.49 $1.99
  • Princesses Behaving Badly: Real Stories from History Without the Fairy-Tale Endings
    $10.99 $1.99
  • This Life I Live: One Man's Extraordinary, Ordinary Life and the Woman Who Changed It Forever
    $9.99 $2.99
  • An Appeal to the World: The Way to Peace in a Time of Division
    $9.99 $1.99
  • How to Have a Good Day: Harness the Power of Behavioral Science to Transform Your Working Life
    $13.99 $1.99
  • Feminist Fight Club: An Office Survival Manual for a Sexist Workplace
    $10.99 $1.99
  • Everything That Remains: A Memoir by The Minimalists
    $8.99 $2.49
  • The Seven Spiritual Laws of Superheroes: Harnessing Our Power to Change The World
    $7.74 $1.99
  • Catch Me If You Can
    $10.99 $1.99
  • Word by Word: The Secret Life of Dictionaries
    $11.99 $1.99
  • Hit Refresh: The Quest to Rediscover Microsoft's Soul and Imagine a Better Future for Everyone
    $15.99 $2.99
  • We Are Not Such Things: The Murder of a Young American, a South African Township, and the Search for Truth and Reconciliation
    $10.99 $1.99
  • The Stranger in the Woods: The Extraordinary Story of the Last True Hermit
    $11.99 $1.99
  • Lab Girl
    $11.99 $2.99
  • Patient H.M.: A Story of Memory, Madness, and Family Secrets
    $13.99 $2.99
  • Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City
    $12.99 $3.99
  • American Wolf: A True Story of Survival and Obsession in the West
    $13.99 $2.99
  • Reading with Patrick: A Teacher, a Student, and a Life-Changing Friendship
    $11.99 $1.99
  • Chancers: Addiction, Prison, Recovery, Love: One Couple's Memoir of Beating the Odds
    $10.99 $1.99
  • In a Different Key: The Story of Autism
    $11.99 $1.99
  • The Pastor: A Memoir
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Forks Over Knives: The Plant-Based Way to Health
    $14.95 $2.99
  • To Have or To Be?
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Happy Accidents
    $9.99 $2.99
  • The Circle Maker: Praying Circles Around Your Biggest Dreams and Greatest Fears
    $8.99 $2.99
  • Bridge of Spies
    $11.99 $1.99
  • Bringing Adam Home: The Abduction That Changed America
    $8.74 $1.99
  • Shadow Divers: The True Adventure of Two Americans Who Risked Everything to Solve One of the Last Mysteries of World War II
    $12.99 $2.99
  • The Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors: The Extraordinary World War II Story of the U.S. Navy's Finest Hour
    $13.99 $1.99
  • Working with Emotional Intelligence
    $11.99 $1.99
  • The Perfect Horse: The Daring U.S. Mission to Rescue the Priceless Stallions Kidnapped by the Nazis
    $13.99 $1.99
“Western civilisation, the élitists all understood, is built upon discrimination: a culture that does not rest on discrimination, that penalises people who discriminate, or rewards the undiscriminating, is worth very little and has only callow, childish pleasures.” 2 likes
More quotes…