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An extraordinary rise, a scandalous descent

2nd March 2021

Wednesday, 17 March, 18.30 GMT / 13.30 EST

Celebrating the best of British writing, The Beaumont is launching a digital version of our previous sold-out literary evenings, gathering together the world's best and brightest non-fiction writers to read from their latest work.

The series opens on Wednesday 17 March with a reading of Fall: The Mystery of Robert Maxwell (Viking) and a live Q&A with the book's best-selling author John Preston.

"The best of writers to tackle the subject." The Times

The Book

In February 1991, the media mogul and former MP Robert Maxwell made a triumphant entrance into Manhattan harbour aboard his yacht, the Lady Ghislaine, to complete his purchase of the ailing New York Daily News. Crowds lined the quayside to watch his arrival, taxi drivers stopped their cabs to shake his hand and children asked for his autograph. But just ten months later, Maxwell disappeared from the same yacht off the Canary Islands, only to be found dead in the water soon afterward.

What went so wrong? How did a war hero and model of society who laid such store on the importance of ethics and good behaviour become reduced to a bloated, amoral wreck? In this gripping book, John Preston delivers the definitive account of Maxwell's extraordinary rise and scandalous fall.

The book is available from our favourite Mayfair bookseller, Heywood Hill.

The Author

John Preston is a former newspaper arts editor. Having previously taken a behind-the-scenes look at the desperate and scandalous private life of MP Jeremy Thorpe in A Very English Scandal, now a major BBC series starring Hugh Grant and Ben Wishaw, and unearthed the background of the Sutton Hoo archaeological find in The Dig, made into the 2021 Netflix-released feature film starring Ralph Fiennes and Carey Mulligan, Preston published his jaw-dropping life story of Robert Maxwell earlier this year

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