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Letters to Camondo

Edmund de Waal



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03 June 2022
A haunting sequence of imagined letters to the Count de Camondo -- the owner of a Parisian palace filled with beautiful objects, turned into a memorial for his lost son -- by the bestselling author of The Hare with Amber Eyes
'Consistently illuminating... considered, compassionate and appreciative... This book is a wonderful tribute to a family and to an idea' Guardian

63 rue de Monceau, Paris Dear friend, As you may have guessed by now, I am not in your house by accident. I know your street rather well.

Count Moise de Camondo lived a few doors away from Edmund de Waal's forebears, the Ephrussi, first encountered in his bestselling memoir The Hare with Amber Eyes. Like the Ephrussi, the Camondos were part of belle epoque high society. They were also targets of anti-semitism.

Camondo created a spectacular house and filled it with the greatest private collection of French eighteenth-century art for his son to inherit. But when Nissim was killed in the First World War, it became a memorial and, on the Count's death, was bequeathed to France.

The Musee Nissim de Camondo has remained unchanged since 1936. Edmund de Waal explores the lavish rooms and detailed archives and uncovers new layers to the family story. In a haunting series of letters addressed to the Count, he tells us what happened next.

'Letters to Camondo immerses you in another age... de Waal creates a dazzling picture of what it means to live graciously' Financial Times

'Subtle and thoughtful and nuanced and quiet. It is demanding but rewarding' The Times
Imprint:   Vintage
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 200mm,  Width: 136mm,  Spine: 18mm
Weight:   322g
ISBN:   9781529114294
ISBN 10:   1529114292
Pages:   192
Publication Date:  
Audience:   General/trade ,  College/higher education ,  Professional and scholarly ,  ELT Advanced ,  Primary
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Edmund de Waal is an artist whose porcelain is exhibited in museums and galleries around the world. His bestselling memoir, The Hare with Amber Eyes, won the RSL Ondaatje prize and the Costa Biography Award and in 2015 he was awarded the Windham-Campbell prize for non-fiction by Yale University. The White Road, a journey into the history of porcelain, was published in 2015. He lives in London with his family.

Reviews for Letters to Camondo

Consistently illuminating... excellently illustrated... De Waal's excavation of the meanings of assimilation is considered, compassionate and appreciative of its costs... he is a wise guide to people and things that are dispersed and are collected... This book is a wonderful tribute to a family and to an idea -- Nicholas Wroe * Guardian * Letters to Camondo immerses you in another age - one as sharply torn with rifts and bigotry, political uncertainty and changing fortunes as our own - but also a time of grace and the deliberate cultivation of pleasure... de Waal creates a dazzling picture of what it means to live graciously -- Nilanjana Roy * Financial Times * Letters to Camondo... is subtle and thoughtful and nuanced and quiet. It is demanding but rewarding. It will make you think differently about trunks in the attic and it will make you read old letters with new eyes -- Laura Freeman * The Times * I was deeply moved... [de Waal] has found a way to meditate on exile, migration and polarisation that feels painfully relevant -- Johanna Thomas-Corr * Sunday Times * This is a marvellous book, elegant, tender, loving, appreciative, disturbing, a reminder of both the fragility and resilience of high culture, indeed civilisation -- Allan Massie * Scotsman *

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