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One Hundred Summers

Vanessa Branson



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04 August 2020
Taking the reader on a journey from the dying embers of Edwardian England, through the trauma of two world wars, the hedonism of London in the 1980s and 'Cool Britannia' in the 1990s right up to the present day, One Hundred Summers is a portrait of a century as it was experienced by one extraordinary family.

Along the way, Vanessa Branson recalls the rough and tumble of her chaotic but happy post-war childhood; growing up alongside her older brother Richard, who was entrepreneurial even as a teenager, she would have a front-row seat at the birth of Virgin, one of the most remarkable success stories in British business. She goes on to share her many adventures in a fascinating life, from opening an art gallery on London's Portobello Road and founding an arts festival in Morocco, to turning an ancient palace into a world-famous hotel and finding a real-life Neverland in the Scottish island of Eilean Shona, where J. M. Barrie once wrote a screenplay for Peter Pan.

Touching, humane and at times heartbreakingly honest, Branson's family memoir is a vivid and charming tapestry of English eccentricity, fortune, fate and passion.
By:   Vanessa Branson
Imprint:   Menschenkinder
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 234mm,  Width: 153mm, 
Weight:   550g
ISBN:   9781912914166
ISBN 10:   1912914166
Pages:   368
Publication Date:   04 August 2020
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Vanessa Branson is an entrepreneur and the founder of the Marrakech Biennale. Between 1986 and 1991 she founded and ran the Vanessa Devereux Gallery on London's Portobello Road. She owns and runs Eilean Shona, an island on the west coast of Scotland, as well as the El Fenn hotel in Marrakech with her business partner Howell James. In October 2014 she was awarded the royal distinction of Officer of the Order of Ouissam Alaouite for her contributions to Moroccan arts and culture. She is a trustee of the British Moroccan Society, the Leila Alaoui Foundation, Virgin Unite and the Global Diversity Foundation.

Reviews for One Hundred Summers

Charming, honest, beautifully written and lyrical. This is a wonderful family memoir - the real Swallows and Amazons! * Kate Mosse * Brimming with unforgettable characters and jaw-dropping personal experience, Vanessa Branson's memoir is both quirky and heartwarming. Written with great compassion, Branson's joie de vivre is infectious. This is a book where fact is certainly far more colourful than fiction. * Freya North * An elegantly written contemplation on family, fame, marriage, betrayal, ancestry and ambition. * Anthony Horowitz * Vanessa Branson has a warm, personable style and a descriptive sensibility for the most exquisite detail. One Hundred Summers is gloriously transporting. * Annie Lennox * The book is an irresistible tour through a life of great luck but also great spirit and a fair share of pain. It skilfully shows how the lives and times of parents and grandparents set us up and echo through the generations, and how lessons learned in early life can make sense later. * Amy Liptrot * Warm, intelligent and acutely honest ... Stepping out from the dazzle of her famous brother, Branson shines in her own form, taking on the generations of a very British family, with all their foibles and eccentricities, their flaws and triumphs to make a whole picture of a modern woman with a big heart and an unstoppable energy ... The characters step from the pages as fresh and magnetic as if we'd met them at a summer party. * Raffaella Barker * Ness has captured our childhood years, those years of innocence and joyous eccentricity, with an unerring voice. She's captured the years that followed too and, let's be honest here, I'm not sure we can describe those as being quite so innocent! A reviewer of my autobiography once wrote of it that it was a kiss and tell, warts-and-all story, written by the author himself ! In this enthralling book, Vanessa has capped that many times. It makes for a gripping read. She's led an extraordinary life and just happens to be one of the most creative people I know - and I'm only a little biased! * Richard Branson *

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