In The Footsteps Of Giants A Literary Tour Of Paris

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As time went on the Tsars of Russia and the Romanov family made the South of France their second house, which circumstance, in 1912, prompted Tsar Nicholas II to build the Russian Orthodox Cathedral in Nice to serve the Russian the Aristocracy. Even Queen Victoria came on vacation to Nice, staying in the magnificent Excelsior Régina Palace which seems down on the town and the sea from the hill of Cimiez.
But it was the looks of the reclusive Marcel Proust that evinced Princess Murat’s all too visible disfavour. At the time everybody who was anybody was attempting to identify themselves and others in the characters of Proust’s À la Recherche du temps perdu. Violette, who was famend for meanness had seemingly supplied the mannequin for an extremely miserly particular person.
And so what's there left to say about this self-aggrandizing family. With hindsight one may say that in real life, when these murals have been painted, the Belle Époque was drawing to its shut. Soon there would not be the annual winter retreat to the Palais Masséna. Somehow, then, the murals do have a Proustian feel, perhaps a missing story thread from À la Recherche du temps perdu; the final second of an ideal, and rarified age caught in two wall work, and now gawped at by the passing public. “an enormous drug-addicted lesbian with a hunger for firm.” She goes round with a bag of cocaine and lays out strains for Wood when he is struggling to complete a bit of labor.
Faulks tells, too, of Wood’s declare that she misplaced £5 or 6 million within the 1929 Stock Market crash. She ended her days, living in squalor, having overcome an earlier obsession with maintaining cleanliness, and died of barbiturate poisoning at the age of 58. She famously stormed out of a really famous Paris banquet, held in 1922 for Europe’s artistic elite. The guests of honour included Diaghilev, Stravinsky, James Joyce, and Picasso.
It was apparently built in response to her requirements for a place to stay that matched her standing. And so the motels and palaces grew up around the old town of Nice to offer for the royal, rich and well-known.
The subsequent time I wake it's light enough to know that I can abandon all efforts to sleep. In the dawn gentle I see that final evening’s set has mystically expanded into a vast new backdrop. Now the Chyulu Hills rise above the dry plains, a vision of impossible greenness that belies the violence of their birth.