Lucy Moore

In Vogue

Elsa Schiaparelli: A Biography

By

Fig Tree 378pp £25 order from our bookshop

Even by the standards of the late 19th century, Elsa Schiaparelli had a miserable childhood, materially comfortable but emotionally deprived. At her christening her parents, who had been expecting a boy, didn’t have a name for her – put on the spot, they named her after her nurse. Her elder sister, Beatrice, was the beauty; believing herself ugly and unwanted, Elsa fantasised about being adopted. Later she would tell of trying to plant seeds in her ears, mouth and nose so that flowers would grow over her face and make it lovely. 

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • . is next week! The programme is excellent and there are free copies of Literary Review, to boot! ,
    • 'Britain's spy chief in the Congo replied to a fellow peer who asked her whether SIS played any part in its prime m… ,
    • This month Lucy Popescu covers the plight of poet Galal El-Behairy and activist Wael Abbas in Egypt's crack-down on… ,
    • 'I fear that defending an 18th-century agrarian economist against – well, against whom exactly? – is not the best u… ,
    • 'He lacks empathy with all but the wealthy and has no grasp of the struggles faced by the majority of his concitoye… ,
    • Here's Richard Vinen's review of A Certain Idea of France by Julian Jackson: ,
    • RT : James Crabtree's 'Billionaire Raj' - my review for . "...For sheer chutzpah, India’s billionaires provid… ,