Wendy Holden

The Hot-Water Bottle in Her Bed

Garbo

By Barry Paris

(Macmillan 512pp £17.99) order from our bookshop

‘You WILL BE alone. ER,’ read the invitation to tea from Buckingham Palace. Garbo refused. A shame, as two of the most skilful self-publicists of the century would have had much to talk about.

Stars have fans, devoted ones. And they don’t come much more devoted than Barry Paris. No area of Garbo’s life fails to rivet him and his enthusiasm occasionally defies logic. ‘ His photographs suggest a sensitive nature weighed down by economic woes,’ says Paris of Garbo’s father, Karl. ‘What they do not reveal is that he suffered from severe kidney trouble.’ One wonders how they could.

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