The Richard Burton Diaries launch in the country that married Burton and Taylor

The global success of The Richard Burton Diaries, published by Yale University Press, and edited by Swansea University historian Professor Chris Williams is continuing with a launch in Canada following recent launch events in New York, LA, Singapore, London, Cheltenham and Swansea.

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Richard Burton DiariesProfessor Williams will be embarking on the next leg of his tour later in the month to launch the Diaries in Vancouver on 21 February (Pan Pacific Hotel) and in Toronto on 23 February (Thornhill Golf & Country Club).

A select number of invited dignitaries will attend both events alongside members of the public with a guest appearance in Toronto from the Toronto Welsh Male Voice Choir.

The latest Canadian tour follows on from a number of successful launch events in the UK and overseas, attended by actors, close friends and family of Burton and members of the general public.

The US launch coincided with the award of an honorary degree to Port Talbot’s Michael Sheen and over 800 people turned out at the book signing at the Times Cheltenham Literature festival where Professor Williams was in conversation with actor and close friend of Richard Burton, Robert Hardy, and Richard Burton's niece, Rhiannon James Trowell.

The Swansea launch saw a packed auditorium for a reading from the Diaries, and a screening of The Taming of the Shrew (1967), a film which features prominently in the Diaries.

With 50,000 copies of the newly-published volume sold to date, Richard Burton’s original handwritten diaries (dating from 1939 until shortly before his death in 1984) were donated to Swansea Universityin 2006 by his wife Sally Burton and now form part of the Richard Burton Archives.

The new volume presents in their entirety the surviving diaries of the stage and screen icon, which cover his career and the years of his celebrated marriages to Elizabeth Taylor.

The Diaries reveal a very different man from the acclaimed actor, international film star, and celebrity the world has come to ‘know’.

Director of the Research Institute for Arts and Humanities, and Editor of the Diaries, Professor Chris Williams said, “From his private, handwritten pages there emerges a different person - a fully- rounded human being who, with a wealth of talent and a surprising burden of insecurity, confronts the peculiar challenges of a life lived largely in the spotlight.”

Chris Williams - Cheltenham

Professor Williams continues, “The success of the Diaries has been unimaginable with a serialisation in a national newspaper, a prime time slot on a major US network, and lots of interest closer to home, it seems as if the allure of Burton is as present now as ever.

“A Canadian launch is very exciting and will be a time to remember Burton’s close links with the country. Of course Burton trained as a RAF navigator near Winnipeg in 1945, and Burtonand Taylor married for the first time at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Montreal. Throughout his career Burton acted on stage in Canada in a number of productions including Camelot (1960), Hamlet (1964), and Camelot again in 1980, and he starred in a number of feature films that were either shot, or set, in Canada.”

For more information on the Canadian tour, times, dates and locations please contact: riah@swansea.ac.uk, Tel: 01792 295190.

Further links to this story:

http://www.swansea.ac.uk/media-centre/whats-happening/richardburtondiaries-vancouvereventtokickoffcanadianlaunch.php

Images on Flickr:  http://www.flickr.com/photos/swanseauniversity/sets/72157632855737090/