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Publication date 30th March 2018
BOOK LAUNCH & SIGNING BY AUTHOR MAUREEN EMERSON IN FRANCE
Saturday, 14 April at 3.00 pm
The English Book Centre
12 Rue Alexis Julien
06560 Valbonne, France
Tel. 04 93 12 21 42
englishbooks@wanadoo.fr

Saturday, 21 April at 11.30 am
Antibes Books
13, rue Georges Clemenceau
06600 Antibes, France
Tel. 04 93 61 96 47
info@antibesbooks.com

In 1926 Barry Dierks, a young American architect, arrived in Paris and fell in love with France. With his partner, an ex-officer in the British Army, he built a white, flat-roofed Modernist masterpiece that rested on the rocks below the Esterel, with views across the Mediterranean. They called it Le Trident. From the moment it was built, it captivated Riviera society.

As commissions for more villas flooded in, Barry Dierks and Eric Sawyer, “those two charmers”, flourished at the heart of Riviera society. Over the years, Dierks would design and build over 70 of the Riviera’s most recognisable villas for clients ranging from Somerset Maugham’s Villa Mauresque and Jack Warner’s Villa Aujourd’hui to the Marquess of Cholmondeley’s  Villa Le Roc, and Maxine Elliott’s Château de l’Horizon, later the home of Aly Khan and Rita Hayworth.

When everything changed with the German occupation and the founding of Vichy France in 1940 and almost all their friends and clients fled, Barry and Eric stayed on, and showed their courage in their ensuing adventures.

Riviera Dreaming tells the dazzling story of the lives, loves and adventures that played out behind the walls of these glamorous houses and provides an unparalleled portrait of life on the Cote d’Azur at the height of the Jazz Age.


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  • Maxine firmly grooming her aggressive lemur monkey
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Pictures which include Barry Dierk’s houses on the Riviera

‘THOSE TWO CHARMERS’


Barry Dierks & Eric Sawyer

‘Elegant’ Barry Dierks

The Villa Trident

From their own home built into the red rocks of the Estérel mountains and above the Mediterranean, Barry as the architect in the partnership, with Eric as garden designer and business manager, built or remodelled around 70 houses in the south of France. These were occupied by Americans, British and French, many of whom have their own fascinating stories.  Handsome and sociable, Barry and Eric were ‘the two charmers’ of the Riviera social scene in the years between the wars,  indeed leading a charmed life until the Second World War changed everything and revealed their determination and courage in their respective adventures.


THE RIVIERA IN COLOUR

A 16mm home movie in colour – Nice Promenade des Anglais & The Port in 1938

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