Escape to Provence, published in 2008 and re-printed in 2009, is the result of 8 years of extensive research. A paperback of 248 pages, including approximately 40 illustrations & photographs, it is the true story of Lady Winifred Fortescue and Elisabeth Starr, two remarkable women and their quest for a new life in an idyllic Provence of the early 1900s. An evocative description of how the Second World War brought both selfless courage and tragedy and would change their lives for ever.
Courage, published as a Kindle e-book in January 2014 is the true story of two young Americans from Philadelphia, brother and sister, who went to France before the United States entered the Great War in 1917. They went for different reasons, one to fight with the British Army on the Somme and the other to engage in dangerous aid work on the Western Front. The outcome for each was very different.
Maureen is now working on Riviera Dreaming the story of the American architect Barry Dierks, his English partner Colonel Eric Sawyer, and the stunning houses and gardens they designed on the French Riviera during the 1920s and 1930s. You can read extracts from the new book here on the site.
For full details of Maureen's books, samples chapter, reviews etc. visit the book page using the tab above or by clicking here.
'Riviera Buzz', a magazine focusing on the south of France, contains an excellent question & answer style interview with Maureen. The article has been reproduced, click here to read it now or visit the Riviera Buzz web site!
Maureen Emerson, from an Irish-Austrian background, grew up in London - for which she is eternally grateful. She brought up her family in North Africa, Lebanon, Dallas and Singapore, before settling in Provence for twenty-two years. There she worked as a local co-ordinator for CBS and NBC at media festivals in Cannes. During her years in Provence Maureen became enthralled with the stories of those expatriates who lived on the Riviera in the 1920s and 1930s and how the Second World War affected their lives. Her second book on the subject is now in progress. While still harbouring a strong affection for Provence, Maureen has now settled in Sussex with her husband. Her book, Escape to Provence, is published by Chapter & Verse Books and is available on Kindle.
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PROJECTS & RESEARCH
In the context of Maureen's new project on the personalities of the Riviera in the 1920s and 30's, here is a wonderful short film of the area, shot in 1937, before the war changed everything.
If you cannot see this video click here to download Adobe Flash Player - free.
Hélène Vagliano was active in the French resistance. Her family had moved from Ascot in Berkshire to Cannes in the south of France in the 1920's. The full and very moving story of this incredibly brave young woman who was tortured and murdered by the Gestapo has been completed and the article accepted by the Imperial War Museum. Other projects include Sir John Fortescue, Royal Librarian and Author of the History of the British Army and 'Be Ill in Your Own Language', the Story of the Anglo-American Hospital of Cannes. Use the links to select a subject.