Related to: '1939: The Last Season'

W&N

Chanel's Riviera

Anne de Courcy
Authors:
Anne de Courcy

Far from worrying about the onset of war, in the spring of 1938 the burning question on the French Riviera was whether one should curtsey to the Duchess of Windsor. Few of those who had settled there thought much about what was going on in the rest of Europe. It was a golden, glamorous life, far removed from politics or conflict.Featuring a sparkling cast of artists, writers and historical figures including Winston Churchill, Daisy Fellowes, Salvador Dalí, the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, Eileen Gray and Edith Wharton, with the enigmatic Coco Chanel at its heart, CHANEL'S RIVIERA is a captivating account of a period that saw some of the deepest extremes of luxury and terror in the whole of the twentieth century.From Chanel's first summer at her Roquebrune villa La Pausa (in the later years with her German lover) amid the glamour of the pre-war parties and casinos in Antibes, Nice and Cannes to the horrors of evacuation and the displacement of thousands of families during the Second World War, CHANEL'S RIVIERA explores the fascinating world of the Cote d'Azur elite in the 1930s and 1940s. Enriched with much original research, it is social history that brings the experiences of both rich and poor, protected and persecuted, to vivid life.

W&N

The Husband Hunters

Anne de Courcy
Authors:
Anne de Courcy

Towards the end of the nineteenth century and for the first few years of the twentieth, a strange invasion took place in Britain. The citadel of power, privilege and breeding in which the titled, land-owning governing class had barricaded itself for so long was breached. The incomers were a group of young women who, fifty years earlier, would have been looked on as the alien denizens of another world - the New World, to be precise. From 1874 - the year that Jennie Jerome, the first known 'Dollar Princess', married Randolph Churchill - to 1905, dozens of young American heiresses married into the British peerage, bringing with them all the fabulous wealth, glamour and sophistication of the Gilded Age.Anne de Courcy sets the stories of these young women and their families in the context of their times. Based on extensive first-hand research, drawing on diaries, memoirs and letters, this richly entertaining group biography reveals what they thought of their new lives in England - and what England thought of them.

W&N

Margot at War

Anne de Courcy
Authors:
Anne de Courcy

Margot Asquith was perhaps the most daring and unconventional Prime Minister's wife in British history. Known for her wit, style and habit of speaking her mind, she transformed 10 Downing Street into a glittering social and intellectual salon. Yet her last four years at Number 10 were a period of intense emotional and political turmoil in her private and public life. In 1912, when Anne de Courcy's book opens, rumblings of discontent and cries for social reform were encroaching on all sides - from suffragettes, striking workers and Irish nationalists. Against this background of a government beset with troubles, the Prime Minister fell desperately in love with his daughter's best friend, Venetia Stanley; to complicate matters, so did his Private Secretary. Margot's relationship with her husband was already bedevilled by her stepdaughter's jealous, almost incestuous adoration of her father. The outbreak of the First World War only heightened these swirling tensions within Downing Street. Drawing on unpublished material from personal papers and diaries, Anne de Courcy vividly recreates this extraordinary time when the Prime Minister's residence was run like an English country house, with socialising taking precedence over politics, love letters written in the cabinet room and gossip and state secrets exchanged over the bridge table. By 1916, when Asquith was forced out of office, everything had changed. For the country as a whole, for those in power, for a whole stratum of society, but especially for the Asquiths and their circle, it was the end of an era. Life inside Downing Street would never be the same again.

W&N

The Fishing Fleet

Anne de Courcy
Authors:
Anne de Courcy

The adventurous young women who sailed to India during the Raj in search of husbands.From the late 19th century, when the Raj was at its height, many of Britain's best and brightest young men went out to India to work as administrators, soldiers and businessmen. With the advent of steam travel and the opening of the Suez Canal, countless young women, suffering at the lack of eligible men in Britain, followed in their wake. This amorphous band was composed of daughters returning after their English education, girls invited to stay with married sisters or friends, and yet others whose declared or undeclared goal was simply to find a husband. They were known as the Fishing Fleet, and this book is their story, hitherto untold.For these young women, often away from home for the first time, one thing they could be sure of was a rollicking good time. By the early 20th century, a hectic social scene was in place, with dances, parties, amateur theatricals, picnics, tennis tournaments, cinemas and gymkhanas, with perhaps a tiger shoot and a glittering dinner at a raja's palace thrown in. And, with men outnumbering women by roughly four to one, romances were conducted at alarming speed and marriages were frequent. But after the honeymoon, life often changed dramatically: whisked off to a remote outpost with few other Europeans for company, and where constant vigilance was required to guard against disease, they found it a far cry from the social whirlwind of their first arrival.Anne de Courcy's sparkling narrative is enriched by a wealth of first-hand sources - unpublished memoirs, letters and diaries rescued from attics - which bring this forgotten era vividly to life.

W&N

Snowdon

Anne de Courcy
Authors:
Anne de Courcy

'The most sensational book on the Royal Family in recent times' Sunday Telegraph'Offers a fascinating insight into not just his life but the social mores of the day' Evening StandardHow did a photographer who was a relentless playboy, an unashamed womaniser and a leather-clad motorcyclist marry the Queen's sister and become the Establishment figure Lord Snowdon? The brilliantly talented Antony Armstrong-Jones often humiliated Princess Margaret, yet he was compassionate to the causes he cared about. Since his death in 2017, Snowdon still hasn't escaped the limelight, as more and more is revealed about his wild and intriguing life.Written with exclusive access to Snowdon and the people closest to him, this book uncovers the real man and his times. Addressing the facts behind the myths - the secret courtship of Margaret, the love child born just weeks after the royal marriage, the affairs on both sides, the suicide of one mistress and the birth of an illegitimate son to another - this balanced yet no-holds-barred account of Snowdon's life is essential reading for fans of The Crown and Ma'am Darling.

W&N

Debs at War

Anne de Courcy
Authors:
Anne de Courcy
W&N

Society's Queen

Anne de Courcy
Authors:
Anne de Courcy
W&N

The Viceroy's Daughters

Anne de Courcy
Authors:
Anne de Courcy

The lives of the three daughters of Lord Curzon: glamorous, rich, independent and wilful.Irene (born 1896), Cynthia (b.1898) and Alexandria (b.1904) were the three daughters of Lord Curzon, Viceroy of India 1898-1905 and probably the grandest and most self-confident imperial servant Britain ever possessed. After the death of his fabulously rich American wife in 1906, Curzon's determination to control every aspect of his daughters' lives, including the money that was rightfully theirs, led them one by one into revolt against their father. The three sisters were at the very heart of the fast and glittering world of the Twenties and Thirties.Irene, intensely musical and a passionate foxhunter, had love affairs in the glamorous Melton Mowbray hunting set. Cynthia ('Cimmie') married Oswald Mosley, joining him first in the Labour Party, where she became a popular MP herself, before following him into fascism. Alexandra ('Baba'), the youngest and most beautiful, married the Prince of Wales's best friend Fruity Metcalfe. On Cimmie's early death in 1933 Baba flung herself into a long and passionate affair with Mosley and a liaison with Mussolini's ambassador to London, Count Dino Grandi, while enjoying the romantic devotion of the Foreign Secretary, Lord Halifax. The sisters see British fascism from behind the scenes, and the arrival of Wallis Simpson and the early married life of the Windsors. The war finds them based at 'the Dorch' (the Dorchester Hotel) doing good works. At the end of their extraordinary lives, Irene and Baba have become, rather improbably, pillars of the establishment, Irene being made one of the very first Life Peers in 1958 for her work with youth clubs.

Alice Walker

Alice Walker won the Pulitzer prize and the American Book Award for THE COLOR PURPLE. She is the author of many bestselling novels, essays and collections of poetry including MERIDIAN, BY THE LIGHT OF MY FATHER'S SMILE and THE THIRD LIFE OF GRANGE COPELAND.Visit Alice Walker's official website at: alicewalkersgarden.com

Antonia Fraser

Antonia Fraser is the author of many widely acclaimed historical works which have been international bestsellers. She was awarded the Medlicott Medal by the Historical Association in 2000 and was made a DBE in 2011 for services to literature.Her previous books include MARY QUEEN OF SCOTS, KING CHARLES II, THE WEAKER VESSEL: WOMAN'S LOT IN SEVENTEENTH-CENTURY ENGLAND which won the Wolfson History Prize, MARIE ANTOINETTE: THE JOURNEY, PERILOUS QUESTION; THE DRAMA OF THE GREAT REFORM BILL 1832 and THE KING AND THE CATHOLICS: THE FIGHT FOR RIGHTS 1829. MUST YOU GO?,a memoir of her life with Harold Pinter, was published in 2010, and MY HISTORY; A MEMOIR OF GROWING UP in 2015. She lives in London.Visit Antonia Fraser's website at www.antoniafraser.com

D. R. Thorpe

D. R. Thorpe was born in 1943 and educated at Fettes College and Selwyn College, Cambridge. He is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society and a regular contributor to the OXFORD DICTIONARY OF NATIONAL BIOGRAPHY. He has been an Archives Fellow at Churchill College, Cambridge and the Sir Alistair Horne Fellow at St Antony's College, Oxford. Since 1998 he has been based at Brasenose College, Oxford as a senior member. He has published five acclaimed biographical works: THE UNCROWNED PRIME MINISTERS: A STUDY OF SIR AUSTEN CHAMBERLAIN, LORD CURZON AND RAB BUTLER; the official lives of Selwyn Lloyd and Sir Alec Douglas-Home; and EDEN: THE LIFE AND TIMES OF ANTHONY EDEN, FIRST EARL OF AVON, 1897-1977. His biography of Harold Macmillan, SUPERMAC: THE LIFE OF HAROLD MACMILLAN won the biennial Marsh Biography Award, 2009-10. He knew Kenneth Rose for forty years and was appointed by him to edit his journals.

DJ Target

Formerly spinning records on Rinse FM and hitting the charts with Pay As U Go Cartel and Roll Deep, DJ Target now spends his time between presenting primetime shows on BBC Radio 1 and 1Xtra, running his own record label and DJing all over the world. Twitter: @DJTargetInstagram: @djtarget

Erica James

Erica James is the number one international bestselling author of twenty-one novels, including the Sunday Times top ten bestsellers Summer at the Lake, The Dandelion Years and Song of the Skylark. She has sold over five million books worldwide and her work has been translated into thirteen languages. Erica won the Romantic Novel of the Year Award for her novel Gardens of Delight, set in beautiful Lake Como, Italy, which has become a second home to her. Her authentic characters are thanks to her fondness for striking up conversation with complete strangers.[Author photo, picture credit]Chat to Erica online:www.ericajames.co.uk[twitter logo] @TheEricaJames[facebook logo] @EricaJamesAuthor[Instagram logo] @the_ericajames

Hannu Rajaniemi

Hannu Rajaniemi is from Finland and has a PhD in String Theory. He lived, taught and worked in Edinburgh for many years where he was a member of the high profile writing group that also included Hal Duncan and Alan Campbell. He currently lives in California. His first novel, THE QUANTUM THIEF was widely and hugely praised and has been published in several countries. As well as writing novels he also works in the areas of number and game theory and artificial intelligence.

John Higgs

John Higgs is the author I HAVE AMERICA SURROUNDED: THE LIFE OF TIMOTHY LEARY, THE KLF: CHAOS, MAGIC AND THE BAND WHO BURNED A MILLION POUNDS and the novel THE BRANDY OF THE DAMNED. He lives in Brighton with his partner and their two children. www.johnhiggs.com@johnhiggs

Jonathan Wilson

Jonathan Wilson's Inverting the Pyramid won the National Sporting Club Book of the Year award, and was shortlisted for the William Hill Sports Book of the Year award. His other books include Behind the Curtain: Travels in Eastern European Football; Sunderland: A Club Transformed; The Anatomy of England: A History in Ten Matches; Nobody Ever Says Thank You, a critically acclaimed biography of Brian Clough; The Outsider: A History of the Goalkeeper; The Anatomy of Liverpool; Angels with Dirty Faces: The Footballing History of Argentina; and The Anatomy of Manchester United. He writes for the Guardian, Sports Illustrated and World Soccer, and he is the editor of The Blizzard. Follow him on Twitter at: https://twitter.com/jonawils

Justina Robson

Justina Robson is an Arthur C. Clarke shortlisted author of ten SFF novels, including the highly regarded Quantum Gravity series, and was one of the first writers to win amazon.co.uk's Writer's Bursary in 2000. Based in Leeds, she's been shortlisted for multiple international awards and is a sought-after creative writing teacher who has taught at the Arvon Foundation. A graduate of the Clarion West workshops in Seattle (1996) she has been invited to teach there also, though she hasn't made it yet for various practical reasons. She acted as a judge for the Arthur C Clarke awards on behalf of the Science Fiction Foundation in 2006. Her most recently published novel is Glorious Angels, shortlisted for the British Science Fiction Association Best Novel 2015. You can learn more at justinarobson.co.uk or by following @JustinaRobson on Twitter.

Kate Williams

Kate Williams is an author, social historian and broadcaster. The Storms of War, her first novel in the De Witt trilogy, was widely acclaimed, reviewed as 'spellbinding, gripping and beautiful'. She has always wanted to travel in time and wrote her first novel when she was seven (The Adventures of Maria) - it was rather short.Kate loves delving into archives, collections, diaries and letters. She has a DPhil from Oxford and is the author of the novel The Pleasures of Men and four historical biographies of Emma Hamilton, Queen Victoria, Elizabeth II and Empress Josephine - which is being made into a major TV series.She is Professor of Public History at the University of Reading. Kate is CNN's historian and royal expert, covers royal and national events on the BBC and other channels and regularly appears on other TV programmes, including BBC Breakfast, Restoration Home and The Great British Bake Off, discussing social and royal history, general politics and culture. She also loves quiz shows and is a regular on The Quizeum. She is the resident historian on Frank Skinner's BBC Radio 4 panel show The Rest is History, and writes features, reviews and comment pieces for various newspapers and magazines, including the Sunday Times, Daily Telegraph, Independent and Observer.Kate lives in London.Find out more at www.kate-williams.com and follow her on Twitter @KateWilliamsme

Katharine McMahon

Katharine McMahon studied English and Drama at Bristol University, has taught and trained extensively both in creative writing and within the criminal justice system, has served on The Sentencing Council and The Judicial Appointments Commission and currently works for the Royal Literary Fund developing projects that help writers use their unique skills in the community. She is the author of ten novels, including The Alchemist's Daughter and The Crimson Rooms, that focus on astonishing women and their ability to find a voice and make a mark, even at times and in societies when they are risking everything. The Rose of Sebastopol was a Richard & Judy pick and a Sunday Times bestseller.www.katharinemcmahon.com

Katherine Webb

Katherine Webb was born in 1977 and grew up in rural Hampshire before reading History at Durham University. She has since spent time living in London and Venice, and now lives in Wiltshire. Having worked as a waitress, au pair, personal assistant, book binder, library assistant, seller of fairy costumes and housekeeper, she now writes full time.katherinewebbauthor.com @KWebbAuthor