My Mother, My Father and His Wife Hortense: Provenance - Villa La Pietra

My Mother, My Father and His Wife Hortense: Provenance - Villa La Pietra

by Dialta Alliata-Lensi Orlandi


Choose Expedited Shipping at checkout for guaranteed delivery by Thursday, February 20
3 New & Used Starting at $22.66


In this fierce and poignant book, the author, drawing on sources that include her grandmother's richly erotic diaries, unveils intimate details of the Acton dynasty in Florence, the illicit love affair of Arthur and Elsie, and the controversial legal aftermath that continues to this day. A true family saga played out against the backdrop of Florence's celebrated Villa La Pietra.

The struggle over the billion dollar estate of one of the 20th century's most notable aesthetes, Harold Acton, pitted New York University, against first Liana Beacci, Acton's illegitimate half-sister, and since her death in 2000 her daughter, Princess Dialta Alliata di Montereale, who lives in Honolulu. It began its progress through the Italian legal system soon after Acton's death in 1994 with more downs than ups for the family. But a recent reworking of Italian inheritance laws, to make them internally coherent and to bring them into accord with European protocols ,promises a dramatic conclusion - and sooner rather than later.

It was always a story in which reality was more colourful than fiction. You will find it in My Mother, My Father and His Wife Hortense: The True Story of the Villa La Pietra (Amazon), a vivid book by Dialta, published under her family name, Dialta Lensi Orlandi, who is now Princess Dialta di Montereale.

In fifty chapters, against the historical and social backdrop of art, glamour, war, and international intrigue, the lives of the Beaccis and the Actons are woven together through the eyes of a third-generation family member, Dialta Lensi Orlandi, granddaughter of Arthur Acton and daughter of Liana Beacci.
The tale encompasses the fate of Acton's estate, an appalling betrayal, and the continuing fight to restore justice and dignity to Acton's legacy and the Beacci family name. Arthur Acton, Dialta's grandfather, was an art dealer, married to Hortense Mitchell, a Chicago heiress, but who came to dislike both art and her husband's home in Florence. Dialta's mother was born to Arthur Acton's lifelong mistress, Ersilia. Her half-brother, Harold Acton, the model for Anthony Blanche in Evelyn Waugh's Brideshead Revisited, and who had been host at La Pietra to Princess Diana and Pablo Picasso, was acquainted with his relations and tried to thwart their inheritance.

In 2003 the court of Florence allowed the bodies of Liana and Arthur to be dug up for DNA tests. These established with "the highest degree of probability" that Liana was Arthur Acton's daughter and a surprise ending.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781491039922
Publisher: CreateSpace Publishing
Publication date: 07/23/2013
Pages: 502
Sales rank: 822,582
Product dimensions: 6.14(w) x 9.21(h) x 1.01(d)
Age Range: 1 - 17 Years

About the Author

A Florentine, Dialta Lensi Orlandi, now Princess Alliata di Montereale and mother of five, has lived in Honolulu since 1999. In Italy she was the Editor in Chief of the ecological magazine Essere Secondo Natura. She has written, produced, acted and directed in films including Turtles, a poetic love story, and The Princess and the Rooster, on children's etiquette. Dialta is a driving force behind the EuroCinema Hawaii film festival in Honolulu and namesake of the coveted annual award honoring the Best Film of EuroCinema.Below videos of book signings and TV interview of the author:

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews

MY MOTHER,MY FATHER and HIS WIFE HORTENSE: Provenance:Villa La Pietra 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Un Amore Splendido e Tormentato By: Giorgio and Nella Gina Caldarone   Dialta Alliata-Lensi Orlandi is a brilliant, gifted and effective writer who captures her grandmother Elsie's and Baron Acton's most intriguing and uplifting LOVE STORY. The tantalizing love affair between them takes place in Florence, Italy at Villa La Pietra in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. As a result  of their unconditional love for each other, Dialta's grandmother Elsie became pregnant by Baron Acton, and her mother Liana was conceived. From that day forward the controversial legal saga of Baron Acton's dynasty versus New York University is still ongoing and continues until the present time. This novel was by far the most interesting, intriguing and mesmerizing love story we have  ever read because the characters are true to life and REAL. Baron Acton fell instantly in love with Elsie for many reasons, she was beautiful, intelligent, compassionate, and had an independent spirit who absolutely adored the ARTS. In addition, their relationship was not only based on their true love for each other, but also because of their symbiotic and  co-dependent bond that they had for each other. We were deeply moved by this Florentine drama when their lives started to fall apart particularly when Baron Acton marries Hortense and brings her to Villa La Pietra in Florence, Italy. There was a time of upheaval in Florence regarding political, social, and economic issues and obviously this played an important role why Baron Acton married Hortense. Although Elsie was devastated when Acton married Hortense, she created an environment of independence for herself which made her a survivalist in their relationship. Elsie's diaries had deep emotional and difficult issues as she embarks on a passionately physical affair before and after Baron Acton married Hortense. It is a novel about discovering what true love really is and how complications of this romance haunt Elsie and Baron Acton. They were one in heart however they were tormented souls in a bittersweet family saga filled with broken hearts and tragedies. Elsie's and Baron Acton's relationship survives because of their unorthodox love and dedication toward each other. We fell in love with Elsie's and Liana's characters because they were elegant and sophisticated women. Although there were lots of disappointments in their lives throughout this novel they survived their stunning accomplishments step by step. In addition, Elsie and Liana were extremely strong women and they were way beyond their times during the Florentine Era. We really enjoyed this captivating heartfelt love story, and what is even more astounding is that we could really feel that Elsie's and Acton's LOVE never died, and without a doubt their love still exists TODAY.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago