Burton and Taylor

Burton and Taylor

Friday, January 1, 1965. Richard Burton’s first diary entry about Elizabeth Taylor (usually referred to in Burton’s diaries as ‘E’). The 1965 diary was a gift from Elizabeth Taylor.

“Read Encyclopaedia Brittanica with E. Picked up Sara (Elizabeth’s mother) last night in Palace Hotel swung her around and charmingly shouted, ‘I hate Old Women’.”

Monday, January 4, 1965.

“E. (Elizabeth Taylor) cracked her head against an open door in the middle of the night. Mother and Father of all black eyes. Nobody will believe that I didn’t hit her – such is my reputation – so we pretend she fell on the slopes.”

Tuesday, January 5, 1965. 

“E. unable to travel (doctor’s orders) so caught 3.34 from Lausanne. Arrived Paris 9.45. Paris snowless and a nice change.”

Thursday, January 7, 1965.

“Met my good girl (Elizabeth Taylor) at London Airport. Her face looks extremely bruised, poor old dab. Nerves made me rather snappy partner and we went earliesh to bed after bangers and mash.”

Not mentioned in the diary, but on January 16, 1965, Burton and Taylor travelled to Cardiff to see Wales play England at rugby union. Wales won, 14 – 3.

Wednesday, May 5, 1965.

“Operation for E. (Elizabeth Taylor). Went in to see her after finishing work. Nervous all day long worrying about her. Went there slightly sloshed and they allowed her home as long as she didn’t move about too much. Watched TV in bed.”

Elizabeth Taylor’s note in the diary suggests her operation was gynaecological in nature.

Thursday, May 5, 1965. Written by Elizabeth Taylor.

“Husband was sweet to me. And I know how much he hates ‘ill people’ and avoids any and all signs of pain in someone he likes and loves. But he has been wonderful with me. Spoiled me like mad!! I adore it!! Maybe (they told me) after another operation I could give him a baby. I want that more than anything in the whole world. Please let him know that nothing will happen to me. Please make him say ‘yes’.

Sunday, May 16, 1965. Written by Elizabeth Taylor. She went to see Burton in The Sandpiper.

“R. looks better than I have ever seen him (he’s so bloody beautiful and sexy) and he takes words so mundane, and turns them into something deeply moving and real – no one else in the world could have done what he does. He made me cry. I’m not even ashamed of what I did – but only when I acted with him. He makes us all look better than we are.”

Monday, May 17, 1965. Written by Elizabeth Taylor. 

“I was supposed to do all kind of things today – like buy dresses, clothes and jewels. I still have over 5 thou’ to spend on my allowance and 45 thous of insurance money for jewellery – but we did something else, something more beautiful than anything in the world. My God, it was lovely! Then we talked about all the things we are going to do on our honeymoon – it’s almost five years long now. Better every day!”

1920s – 1960s