Philippe Besson

Philippe Besson, age 43, is the author of 10 novels. His novel L’Arrière-saison was inspired by a painting by American painter Edward Hopper. Les Jours fragiles focuses on the last days of poet Arthur Rimbaud.

His book Son frère (English title: His Brother) was adapted for cinema by Patrice Chéreau, which won the Silver Bear at the Berlin Film Festival. He is also a screenplay writer: his work includes Mourir d’aimer(To Die of Love) starring Muriel Robin (2009) and La Mauvaise rencontre (Bad Liaisons) starring Jeanne Moreau (2010).
Since September 2010, he has hosted the television show “Paris Dernière” on Paris Première. On January, his novel Retour parmi les hommeshas been
released by Julliard as a sequel after his first novel, En l’absence des hommes(English title: In the Absence of Men), written 10 years later.

The novel

Once Upon a Time in London

Philippe Besson Sofitel London St James

There’s a crowd in London this June afternoon. The streets are adorned with flags flapping in the breeze. Before the stately facade Buckingham Palace, proud red-clad guards are as unflappable as ever atop their fine mounts. Barriers have been erected to control the throngs of onlookers who have converged for what is expected to be a sumptuous parade. The monarchy’s full panoply of pomp has been deployed in honor of the day’s guest, the sovereign of an exotic, far-flung kingdom rich with the splendors of the Orient. Protocol is most dear to the queen. She knows that her country is best governed and her subjects ultimately won over by a scrupulous respect of secular law and an uncompromising adherence to pageantry and pomp. Her authority, otherwise, is unquestionable. The throne has been hers for so long. The truth is that in England it’s the women who have always been most resilient: Once they assume the reins of power, they don’t…

Read the novel