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Publication March 2018

To my friends in the USA

Amazon.com has released ‘Riviera Dreaming – the Côte d’Azur in Love and War’ into the wide expanse of America. The biography includes a social history of ‘the era of the Americans’ on the French Riviera in the 1920s and 1930s. Country Life magazine calls the book a ‘sparkling survey … an effervescent cocktail of a read’. If you do read it, I hope you will enjoy it.

The Baillie Gifford Prize

‘Riviera Dreaming’ has been nominated by publisher I. B. Tauris for the 2018 Baillie Gifford Prize. The Baillie Gifford Prize aims to reward the best of non-fiction and is open to authors of any nationality. It covers all non-fiction in the areas of current affairs, history, politics, science, sport, travel, biography, autobiography and the arts. Formerly known as The Samuel Johnson Prize (1999 – 2015) it is the most prestigious non-fiction prize in the UK.

The Publisher I B Tauris Takeover

I B Tauris has been taken over by Bloomsbury Publishing.
‘Riviera Dreaming’ is to be part of their ‘special interest’ section.
Click here to visit!


The Lady – Tatler – Country Life –
The Daily Mail (Book of the Week) –
The Good Life France – Riviera Insider – The Riviera Woman –
Four books as prizes at Complete France magazine –
Cuckfield Life Magazine
Click here to read  the reviews!

Re-printed already!

The re-print is expected on the 24th August 2018

The launch of  ‘Riviera Dreaming’ at the English Book Centre, Valbonne, France on 14th April 2018 

‘Riviera Dreaming – Love and War on the Côte d’Azur

The Jazz Age of the 1920s was a unique period, a time of frenetic gaiety and hedonism which would gradually drift into the more sober 1930s. But was into the excitement of the early 1920s that Barry Dierks, a young architect from Philadelphia, found his way to Paris to study at the Ecole des Beaux Art.

From there he discovered the South of France and would become the ‘American architect of the Riviera’, building or remodeling around seventy elegant houses on the coast with his partner and landscape designer the Englishman Eric Sawyer. Riviera Dreaming tells the true stories of some of those fascinating clients who lived and loved in Barry’s houses.

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.

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  • Maxine firmly grooming her aggressive lemur monkey
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Photo Album showing some of the villas

‘Those Two Charmers’

‘Elegant’ Barry Dierks

The story tells of the life of Barry, his partner in business and life, the Englishman Colonel Eric Sawyer, and their wonderful villas and gardens. Above all, it describes the intimate lives of some of those fascinating people American, British and French, who had the privilege of commissioning and living in these villas. In 1940,  as virtually all the expatriates in the south fled France, Barry and Eric stayed on and their charmed lives changed dramatically.

Barry Dierks and Eric Sawyer with their dogs

Their beautiful home  – ‘Villa Trident’