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BOOKS

Nellie

The Life and Loves of a Diva

Robert Wainwright

RRP: £17.99

3 March 2022

Published by Allen & Unwin

ISBN: 9781838955090

RRP: £8.99

3 March 2022

Published by Allen & Unwin

ISBN: 9781838955106

‘In this highly readable biography of Nellie Melba…Robert Wainwright tells the story of the girl with the incredible voice who, by sheer force of her personality and power of her decibels, took the operatic world by storm and managed to escape from her violent husband’ Ysenda Maxtone Graham, DAILY MAIL

Nellie Melba is remembered as a squarish, late middle-aged woman dressed in furs and large hats, an imperious Dame whose voice ruled the world for three decades and inspired a peach and raspberry dessert. But to succeed, she had to battle social expectations and misogyny that would have preferred she stay a housewife in outback Queensland rather than parade herself on stage. She endured the violence of a bad marriage, was denied by scandal a true love with the would-be King of France, and suffered for more than a decade the loss of her only son – stolen by his angry, vengeful father.

Despite these obstacles, she built and maintained a career as an opera singer and businesswoman on three continents which made her one of the first international superstars. Award-winning biographer Robert Wainwright presents a very different portrait of this great diva, one that celebrates both her musical contributions and her rich and colourful personal life.

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