In To The Shadows; Portugal 1933-1974 (Lisboa: A Cidade Vista de Fora, 1933-1974), first published by Editorial Presenca in Portugal in November 2013, tells the stories of the colourful array of international personalities who came to the city of Lisbon (Portugal) during the one of the most controversial periods in its modern history – the period of the Estado Novo - 1933-1974.
This is the story of the city as told through the eyes of those people who witnessed it at first hand. Exiled kings and queens, spies, diplomats, world leaders, refugees, film stars and celebrities of the day offer their unique perspectives on the city of light (cidade da luz).
Leaders such as Dwight Eisenhower, General Franco, the Kennedy’s, Richard Nixon, Anthony Eden, Eva Peron and diplomats of the highest order including, George F. Keenan. European royalty such as the Queen Elizabeth II, the Duke & Duchess of Windsor, the Duke of Kent, King Juan Carlos of Spain, Humberto II of Italy, King Carol of Romania and the most glamorous of all, Princess Grace of Monaco.
From Hollywood - Maureen O’Hara and Claude Reins (were shooting the first Hollywood movie to be made in Lisbon), and honeymooners Laurence Olivier and Vivien Leigh, and Ingrid Bergman.
Artists include, Marc Chagall, Max Ernst and Salvador Dali, as well as writers, Arthur Koestler and Christine Garnier.
From amongst the world of spying and espionage the list includes Kim Philby and James Bond’s creator, Ian Fleming.
Some only stayed in the city for a short time while others chose to make Lisbon their permanent home. Some came by choice, while circumstances such as war, forced exile and necessity left others with little choice but to flee to Lisbon and from there onto the new world.
The presence of this rich tapestry of people in the city was not a coincidence, rather a reflection of the continued importance of Europe’s most westerly capital city during this time. The book charts the passage through the decades, from the Spanish Civil War, through World War II, the onset of the Cold War, the formation of NATO and its base in Lisbon, up to the early stages of Decolonisation and highlights the seemingly contradictory story of a country becoming more isolated diplomatically while at the same time attracting the most famous and most influential and affluent international personalities of the era.
The real star of the book, however, remains the city of Lisbon, the centre of which remained relatively unchanged between 1933 and 1974. The centrality of Lisbon’s importance to events in Europe remains one the last best-kept secrets of 20th century history.
For those readers who believe that Lisbon’s contribution to the world stopped at the passing of the Age of Portuguese Exploration, the contents of this book might come as something of a surprise.
Outside Looking In - Lisboa; a Cidade Vista de Fora, 1933-1974, is published by Editorial Presenca in Portugal in November 2013.