There are some great books about Audrey Hepburn. My maternal grandmother was named Audrey Hannah, so the name Audrey has always been very special to me. Indeed one of my daughters has the middle name Audrey and another daughter has the middle name Hannah. Ever since childhood I have loved the movie ‘My Fair Lady’, however it wasn’t really until I started my first full-time job that my boss really introduced me to Audrey Hepburn’s other movies. My favourite Audrey Hepburn movie would have to be ‘How To Catch A Thief’ – fabulous, clever and crazy! Here are some of my favourite Audrey books…
‘Audrey at Home; Memories of My Mother’s Kitchen’ by Luca Dotti (HarperCollins) Family, books and Audrey Hepburn. What’s not to like? Dotti set out to create a wonderful scrapbook style book of his mother’s favourite recipes and candid family photos – something that only Dotti could do, as Hepburn’s son. What a gem he created! There are recipes exchanged with one of Hepburn’s closest friends, Doris Brynner (wife of Yul), holiday stories with Roger Moore and Julie Andrews, and then there is one snapshot that is casually labelled ‘My mother sunbaking with Hubert de Givenchy’. Hello? These anecdotes aside, we read how pasta with tomato sauce and chocolate cake were two of Hepburn’s favourite recipes (yes, both in the book). Who would have thought? She also had a monthly detox day when she ate only plain yoghurt and grated apple. I love Hepburn’s hand-written recipes and her beautiful paintings. That’s right – paintings! Whenever Hepburn returned from travelling she would enjoy a simple meal of spaghetti al pomodoro (recipe in the book). The huge range of fascinating photos and recipes are woven together by Dotti’s memories. This book is a real celebration of the divine Hepburn at home. Buy it. Read it. You won’t be disappointed.
Read my interview with Luca Dotti here.
‘Audrey The 60s’ by David Wills and Stephen Schmidt (Harper Collins) This large coffee-table book is a beautiful compilation of Hepburn during the 1960s; each chapter is devoted to a movie of hers – full page photos (oh, what a luxury from my background in print!) of stills and candid images from movies produced in this decade. Great typeface, stunning use of images and gorgeous quotes. A pleasure to read! Thank you to my first full-time boss, Robert, for introducing me to the range of Audrey Hepburn movies.
Read my interview with David Wills here.
Read my interview with Stephen Schmidt here.
‘So Audrey; 59 Ways To Put A Little Hepburn in Your Step’ by Cindy De la Hoz (Running Press) This is a fun book with each double-page spread dedicated to a photo of Audrey Hepburn and a quote of how you can add a bit of ‘Hepburn’ in your life. Film and fashion historian, De la Hoz, includes little black dresses, ballet flats, sunglasses, beauty rest, head scarves, eyeliners and mascara, charity work, the colour black, funny face, opera gloves, and smiles, and explains why they are ‘So Audrey’ in this whimsical book. This is a beautifully designed small book capturing the elegance and individuality of our beloved Audrey Hepburn.
Read my interview with Cindy De la Hoz here.
‘Just Being Audrey’ by Margaret Cardillo, illustrated by Julia Denos (Blazer + Bray; HarperCollins) This is a fun, beautifully illustrated book about Audrey Hepburn. Clear, bright illustrations capture the essence of Audrey. Whether depicting her ballet training, time during the war, meeting the French writer Colette, her movie roles, her role as a UNICEF ambassador or her home life, she exudes style and grace. Both Cardillo and Denos write a section at the back of the book explaining what their first Audrey experience was and the impact Hepburn had on them. Denos says ‘Audrey left me with this inspiration; to simply remain in love with life’. Sounds like a good creed to live by. A handy timeline at the back of the book is a good reference of Hepburn’s life. I didn’t know that she was one of only five people to win an Oscar (for ‘Roman Holiday’), a Golden Globe (for ‘Roman Holiday’), a Tony (for ‘Ondine’), a Grammy (for ‘Audrey Hepburn’s Enchanted Tales’) and an Emmy (for ‘Gardens of the World With Audrey Hepburn’). Did you?
Read my interview with Julia Denos here.
‘Audrey in Rome’ edited by Ludovica Damiani and Luca Dotti, text by Sciascia Gambaccini (Harper Design; HarperCollins) I love that one of the editors of this book is one of Hepburn’s sons. Dotti explains that his mother’s fame began with the movie ‘Roman Holiday’ (1953) so many people connect her to Italy. People needed happy and carefree dreams and both the movie and Hepburn helped in this traumatic post-war era. This book is about the 20 years that Hepburn lived in Rome. The hair and make-up husband and wife team, the De Rossis, worked with Hepburn throughout these years and we are treated to candid photos of Hepburn getting her hair and make-up done, photos when she opened the telegram announcing her best actress award for ‘The Nun’s Story’, family photos, photos with her friends Hubert de Givenchy, and shopping with Doris Brynner. Biography notes and a list of her films and awards at the back of the book complete this celebration of Hepburn’s life in Rome.
Read my interview with Luca Dotti here.