Audrey Hepburn was the embodiment of gracefulness and elegance and one of Hollywood’s brightest stars. In ‘Audrey Hepburn, An Elegant Spirit’ Sean Hepburn Ferrer, Audrey’s eldest son, offers a very touching version of his mother’s life story.
There are numerous possible approaches to writing a biography of a famous person. In case of Audrey Hepburn, some biographers chose to concentrate on her obvious successes (like roles in Roman Holyday and Breakfast at Tiffany’s), while others decided on gossiping about her private life, several miscarriages and broken relationships. There are people who argue that Audrey Hepburn failed to realize her potential, and people who believe that her brilliant performances in The Nun’s Story and Wait Until Dark are well worth dozens of unproduced projects. All these approaches, however, ignore the most important thing about Audrey Hepburn: her warm personality.
Although many pages of Audrey Hepburn, An Elegant Spirit are devoted to Audrey’s film career, the main focus of the book is her capacity for love and forgiveness. Vulnerable and sometimes painfully shy, Audrey felt that she was no better than anyone else. She was able to forgive her father who left her when she was only six years old to get involved in the activities of the British Fascist Party. Although Audrey believed that this was the most traumatic event of her life, in the 1960s she managed to renew contact with her father and provided him financial help until his death.
Audrey was such a giving person that it was only natural for her to sacrifice her stardom not once but thrice: first, to promote her husband’s (Mel Ferrer) career, second, to focus on raising her children, third, to make goodwill trips on behalf of UNICEF. Audrey once said that there is no other time in one’s life when love, care, tenderness, food and education are more important than in childhood. It was her life choice to do her best to help children in such poverty-stricken countries as Somalia, Ethiopia and Bangladesh. Despite her fame and enormous popularity, she was so modest that she thought that she didn’t deserve to sit in first class on a plane.
Sean Hepburn Ferrer writes that his mother was always like the characters she played: “emotional, courageous, delicate, romantic”. From this biography you will learn about Audrey’s personal habits, preferences and dislikes: for instance, did you know that she was a talented cook who believed that color combinations of the food are really important? The book comes with more than 300 photos: Audrey looks absolutely stunning in all of them regardless of her age. Paraphrasing Coco Chanel you might say that Audrey’s elegance really came from being as beautiful inside as outside.
Although Audrey Hepburn, An Elegant Spirit was obviously meant for people who love Audrey and her legacy, it is truly a must-read for anyone who wants to become a better person. What’s more, a great part of the proceeds of the book is donated to UN Children’s charities: one more reason to buy it.