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Florence Broadhurst: Her Secret & Extraordinary Lives Hardcover – March 29, 2007


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 248 pages
  • Publisher: Chronicle Books; 1st edition (March 29, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0811859371
  • ISBN-13: 978-0811859370
  • Product Dimensions: 7.3 x 0.9 x 10.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #941,948 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Helen O'Neill is an award-winning journalist and regular contributor to Condé Nast Traveler. She lives in Sydney, Australia.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
5 star
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See all 17 customer reviews
Makes for a great gift.
kime Buzzelli
I did feel that the book could have shown more designs but it was excellent as an introduction to Florence Broadhurst and her more popular wallpapers.
G. Fugler
It is a very interesting book and tells a great story about how people in those days could reinvent themselves and be successful with it.
Mercedes

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By G. Fugler on September 1, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I had heard of Florence Broadhurst but didn't know a lot about her. I read this book cover to cover (granted, it is not that thick) without putting it down, it was so interesting! I never realised the amount of scandal involved in one of Australia's greatest designers of the time. I found her life fascinating and her wallpaper designs so beautiful. I did feel that the book could have shown more designs but it was excellent as an introduction to Florence Broadhurst and her more popular wallpapers.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By kime Buzzelli on June 26, 2007
Format: Hardcover
This book is perfect for the design fanatic- especially prints and home decor. The cover is made of a sweet fabric and seems precious. The inside features amazing color images of Florence Broadhurst's one of a kind work. There are many great wallpapers and prints that span the art deco style to modern geometrics. As a painter I found the patterns fascinating. Makes for a great gift.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Sheena Farmer on May 5, 2007
Format: Hardcover
All in all I really enjoyed the book. I thought that the title built up the story to be more than it was, I could have used a lot more text (Keep all the photos though). There wasn't as much detail into Florences life as I would have liked. But the book introduced me to another great designer and all her (or someone elses) great work. A wonderful reference for designers
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By KOKO on October 9, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I took this book in and read it little by little.... As if it was a fiction mystery novel.... Very well written, GORGEOUS pictures of Broadhurst's work! What a character!!! Love LOVE this book! Not only the story is great, but also the pictures in it of F. Broadhurst's work are an inspiration!!!
I have to say, before this, I had no idea who she was, now that I know and see how she has been criticized.... won't tell you why.... but will tell you this.... THAT'S WHAT ART DIRECTOR DO!!!! DIRECT!!! Those who critique her cannot also see that the woman had a vision, she was ahead of her time... and had the passion to keep this 3 step forward going!
I want to see more of her work!!!! LOVED-IT!!!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A. Summers on July 1, 2008
Format: Hardcover
A compelling story (that you can actually read, as opposed to skim) plus stunning visuals - what more could you want? Broadhurst comes across as a real character, part charlatan, part entrepreneur, and the reproductions of her designs (some of which haven't been seen since the 1960s) are comprehensive and beautiful.

No mention of the book can be made without remarking on the actual physical book itself, which is a fabric-covered hardback with a belly band with spot gloss. You'll gaze at it for hours.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Elizabeth Fox on November 27, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A biography of Florence Broadbent, an Australian woman who had a career as a singer in various places, then ran a a dress shop, and finally, back in Australia, reinvented herself in the 70s as a high end wallpaper designer. She was a crazy, flamboyant personality whose designs are now being reproduced and have appeared in museums where she's regarded as a pioneer of Australian design. She was murdered in her studio and the crime remains unsolved (though she was known to carry large sums of money at all times and it seems likely that was the motive.)

It reminds me of the biography of P.L. Travers that I read earlier this year, another Australian who used the theater as a way to get away from her roots, and who lied about her origins and presented herself as more English than the English.

People like this make me think about the line between "reinvented herself" and "fraud". Her designs were drawn by people who worked for her, but she knew what she wanted them to do and she was was skilled at bringing design elements together. Reading the zeitgeist and producing what people wanted to buy is a skill, too.

It was mildly interesting as a story of one woman's strange life, but not great.
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Format: Hardcover
Definitely--judge this book by its cover!

As pictured, the white-stripe is a paper wrap.

This is a beautiful book, telling the story of an Australian woman who lived from 1899-1977. Her adventures cover the range of change that happened in those years. For me, the details aren't terribly important. I bought it for the pictures--her wallpaper patterns--and came away with a fascinating story about a woman who never quit.

I love the illustrations; I wish they had been printed at a full repeat.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I really enjoyed this book - and continue to enjoy it any time i need a little inspiration. as an illustrator it has been an amazing source of inspiration, and the background story on florence's life is very interesting - what a colourful lady, both in art and life. if you are a fan of print design and a fan of biographies, this is the best of both worlds. definitely recommended!
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