Faber Members get 10% off their first order

A Night at the Majestic

Richard Davenport-Hines

The most extraordinary dinner party of all time – the night Proust, Joyce, Picasso and Stravinsky all met.

1 in stock

Date Published
All orders are sent via Royal Mail and are tracked: choose from standard or premium delivery.

One May night in 1922, in a grand hotel in Paris, five of the greatest artists of the 20th century sat down to supper. It would be the only time that novelists Joyce and Proust, the young painter Picasso, choreographer Diaghilev and the composer Stravinsky were in a room together. Each of these exponents of early twentieth-century modernism was at the peak of his creative powers, and of all of them, Proust was enjoying the most spectacular success. Yet within six months he would be dead.

A Night at the Majestic evokes the luxury and glamour of early-twentieth century Paris, the intellectual achievement of the modernist movement and the gossip, intrigue and scandal of aristocratic France.

Critic Reviews

Davenport-Hines is one of out finest writers of non fiction, with a habit of landing on fascinating topics.A sheer pleasure to read.

Frances Spalding, Daily Mail
Critic Reviews

For sheer, toe-curling, napkin-chewing, electrocution-level embarrassment, nothing can come close to the first and only meeting between James Joyce and Marcel Proust: the dinner-party pairing from hell.

Ben Macintyre, The Times
Critic Reviews

Davenport-Hines book is wholly engrossing.

Simon Callow, The Guardian
Critic Reviews

Proust seems to cast a magic spell over those who write about him ... Richard Davenpost-Hines has now produced a rich and scintillating piece of literary history with Proust as its biographical centrepiece ... A Night at the Magestic is a veritable box of delights, a celebration of early 20th century Parisian high life, elegantly-written, full of lively anecdote and acute observation.

Independent on Sunday
Critic Reviews

Shrewd, perceptive, informed and informative.

John Banville, Irish Times (Dublin)
Critic Reviews

Suppose you could have a dinner party and invite the ideal guests. It's an odd ides isn't it? The thing is, this isn't fantasy, or even fiction. There actually was a dinner party in a grand hotel in Paris in 1922 which was attended - if that's the right word - by Proust, Joyce, Picasso, Diaghilev and Stravinsky. The suitably grandly-named Davenport-Hines recreates the event bite by bite

Irish Times (Dublin)