Some years ago a friend of mine was sitting in the lobby of a chic hotel in Paris when he was approached by a beautiful woman who invited him to a party the following evening. He almost didn't go but at the last minute changed his mind and found himself one of twelve total strangers at the birthday party of Salvador Dali, an experience he never forgot. Now you too can crash some of the great parties in literary history, some imagined, others based on fact in this humorous and informative guide.
Forty of the greatest fictional festivities as seen through the eyes of the world's greatest writers. People love to party. And writers love to attend and document these occasions. The party is a useful literary device, not only for social commentary and satire but also as an occasion where characters can meet, fall in and out of love, or even get murdered. A Curious Invitation is a humorous and informative guide to literature's most memorable parties. Some of these parties are depictions of real events, like the Duchess of Richmond's ball on the eve of battle with Napoleon in Thackeray's Vanity Fair; others draw on the authors' experience of the society they lived in, such as Lady Metroland's party in Evelyn Waugh's Vile Bodies; while others come straight from the writer's bizarre imagination, like Douglas Adams' flying party above an unknown planet from The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. Witty, entertaining, and full of fabulous detail, A Curious Invitation offers readers the chance to crash some of the great parties in literary history.