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Following the well publicised US launch of the Richard Burton Diaries, coinciding with an honorary degree for Michael Sheen from Swansea University, the Research Institute for Arts and Humanities (RIAH) will be hosting an evening at Swansea University to mark the publication of the Diaries on Wednesday 28 November. 

The man behind the public persona - revealing the 'real' Richard Burton is an evening dedicated to the iconic stage and screen actor and will be held at the Taliesin Arts Centre on the University campus. 

Published by Yale University Press, Richard Burton’s surviving diaries were presented to Swansea University by Sally Burton in 2006 as part of a collection of her husband’s papers and have been edited by Swansea University historian, and director of RIAH, Professor Chris Williams.

In print form for the first time, the Diaries, published in October, will be irresistible to anyone wanting to know more about Burton, his storied romance with Elizabeth Taylor, and the deeply human character beyond one of film’s larger-than-life icons.

Head of the College of Arts and Humanities Professor John Spurr said:

“Research in the Arts and Humanities will often challenge our preconceptions – never more so than when our scholarship shows the world a familiar figure in a startling new light.  The Richard Burton Diaries reveal the writer behind the actor, the reader behind the film star, and the Welshman behind the celebrity.”

The Diaries will be on sale at Waterstones on the evening and editor Chris Williams will be signing personal copies. He will also read from the Diaries and disclose a few surprising revelations about the Pontrhydyfen-born actor. The reading will be introduced by Professor Dai Smith, Chair of the Arts Council of Wales, and followed by an audience Q&A session.

The launch will culminate in a screening of The Taming of The Shrew (1967) starring Burton and Taylor, a film that features prominently in the Diaries


The timings for the evening are as follows: 

  • 5:45 pm-6:30 pm:      Waterstones Bookshop, Taliesin:  Book signing, The Richard Burton Diaries.  The Diaries will be available to purchase on the night at a special book launch price of £17.50 (hb).
  • 6:45 pm-7:30 pm:      Reading from the Diaries and Q&A session
  • 7.30 pm:                     Screening of The Taming of the Shrew (1967) 

Pricing information:

  • Full price tickets: £10
  • Full-time students, Senior Citizens and Other Concessions: £8
  • Tickets are selling fast but can be purchased from Taliesin Box Office. 

For box office or ticketing enquiries please contact: 01792 602060 or office@taliesinartscentre.co.uk


Pictures of the diaries in the Richard Burton Archive at Swansea University