Truly, Madly. Stephen Galloway
The subtitle is a bit deceiving…”Romance of the Century”. I mean, isn’t most relationships full of passion, love, emotion? The book is a study of passion- not the sift, sentimental kind of Hollywood movies and Victorian romance but the sort that engulfs, overwhelms and sometimes destroys… the sort for which Vivien Leigh and Laurence Olivier’s romance became known for. They were emblems of a class and culture of Hollywood, yet they didn’t belong to that class and culture at all. They were the first married couple in films since the advent of sound to become global celebrities, yet they despised celebrity and some times the medium itself that led to their fame. You’d think they had it all, like most in that type of world, but yet they are human… you can’t escape it, and in their own minds they were blighted with mental illness, which neither or society understood at the time that transformed their relationship from dreams into a nightmare. They starred in numerous plays together, acted in some of the most famous films ever made. When their relationship deteriorated, its obvious they were clinging to the carcass of a romance, to the memory of being in love when real love seemed so far away. They stopped being faithful to one another, had affairs, before and during their marriage. Arguably two of the greatest actors of all time did not have the willpower nor anything else to save their marriage. A tragic romance that many of us have experienced in our own lives. And with many of us, if you’ve experienced once - that love, that passion.. it becomes either a motivator or destroyer of your future relationships.