A Curious Invitation by Suzette Field Review

The Forty Greatest Parties in Literature


Reviewed by Delphi Ellis

When I first picked up this book, my attention was immediately drawn to the lively front cover, I’m sure an intentional design to reflect the nature of the content inside. In this hardback version, the cover is black with gold writing and detailed grey, gold and pink imagery which makes the cover itself worthy of analysis.

The concept intrigued me as to how anyone can write a book about parties which have been described in literature spanning over two thousand years of story writing and pull it off. And yet, Field manages to do this; I was engaged from the first party described (“Trimalchio’s Dinner Party” from The Satyricon).  Despite not having read some of the books to which the author refers I was captivated by the content.

Field analyses each party through several categories starting with who the host was, the venue, the guest list, the dress code, the conversation and much more from the stories she has chosen. Some of the parties described refer to actual historical events which makes the read even more fascinating.

The way Field writes, one would struggle not to visualise themselves standing at some of the parties described taking in the ambience and atmosphere of these prestigious affairs. An established party organiser herself, you can understand why Field has taken on this project but perhaps more impressive is her ability to write about them in such a way that enthrals the reader.

Rating: 5/5

RRP: £8.99

Available to buy from Amazon here.

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