Related to: 'Snowdon'

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

Debs at War

Anne de Courcy
Authors:
Anne de Courcy
W&N

Society's Queen

Anne de Courcy
Authors:
Anne de Courcy

From the author of the critically acclaimed THE VICEROY'S DAUGHTERS, the story of a glittering aristocrat who was also at the heart of political society in the interwar years.At the age of twenty-one, Edith Chaplin married one of the most eligible bachelors of the day, the eldest son of the sixth Marquess of Londonderry. Her husband served in the Ulster cabinet and was Air Minister in the National Government of 1934-5. Edith founded the Women's Legion during the First World War and was also an early campaigner for women's suffrage. She created the renowned Mount Stewart Gardens in County Down that are now owned by the National Trust.All her life, Edith remained at the heart of politics both in Westminster and Ireland. She is perhaps best known for her role as 'society's queen' - a hostess to the rich and famous. Her close circle of friends included Winston Churchill, Lady Astor, Neville Chamberlain and Harold Macmillan who congregated in her salon, known as 'The Ark'. Other members included artists and writers such as John Buchan, Sean O'Casey. Britain's first Labour prime minister, Ramsey MacDonald, became romantically obsessed by her.

W&N

1939: The Last Season

Anne de Courcy
Authors:
Anne de Courcy

A wonderful portrait of British upper-class life in the Season of 1939 - the last before the Second World War.The Season of 1939 brought all those 'in Society' to London. The young debutante daughters of the upper classes were presented to the King and Queen to mark their acceptance into the new adult world of their parents. They sparkled their way through a succession of balls and parties and sporting events.The Season brought together influential people not only from Society but also from Government at the various events of the social calendar. Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain chaperoned his debutante niece to weekend house parties; Lord Halifax, the Foreign Secretary, lunched with the Headmaster of Eton; Cabinet Ministers encountered foreign Ambassadors at balls in the houses of the great hostesses. As the hot summer drew on, the newspapers filled with ever more ominous reports of the relentless progress towards war. There was nothing to do but wait - and dance. The last season of peace was nearly over.

W&N

The Viceroy's Daughters

Anne de Courcy
Authors:
Anne de Courcy

Alexander Walker

Alexander Walker is the author of over twenty books about the cinema and its stars, including bestselling biographies of Elizabeth Taylor, Vivien Leigh, Joan Crawford, Bette Davis, Peter Sellers and Audrey Hepburn. He has also written standard works on the coming of the Talkies, a monograph on Stanley Kubrick, and the fullest account to date of the British film industr from 1960 to 1985. He has been the London "Evening Standard's" influential film critic since 1960 and has been named "Critic of the Year" three times in the British Press Awards. A prolific broadcaster on television and radio, he wrote and narrated four series of "Film Star" for the BBC. Alexander Walker was born in Ireland, and educated there, on the Continent and in the United States.

Andrew Lycett

Andrew Lycett was educated at Charterhouse and Christ Church, Oxford (where he read modern history). As a foreign reporter he specialised in Africa and the Middle East. A full-time author since the early 1990s, he has written a number of highly acclaimed biographies, among them RUDYARD KIPLING and CONAN DOYLE. He lives in north London.

Anna Freeman

Anna Freeman is an associate lecturer in Creative Writing at Bath Spa University as well as a multiple slam-winning performance poet who has appeared at festivals across Britain including Latitude and Glastonbury. She lives in Bristol. Her first novel, THE FAIR FIGHT, was shortlisted for the Authors' Club Best First Novel award.

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

Chris Skidmore

Chris Skidmore is the author of four books on medieval and Tudor history: RICHARD III, BOSWORTH, EDWARD VI and DEATH AND THE VIRGIN. He is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society and a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries. He is also the Member of Parliament for Kingswood and in December 2018 was appointed Minister of State for Universities, Science, Research and Innovation. www.chrisskidmore.co.uk @bosworthbattle

Hunter Davies

Hunter Davies is the author of over thirty books which include such modern classics as the authorised biography of The Beatles, THE GLORY GAME and A WALK AROUND THE LAKES, as well as editing THE BEATLES LYRICS and THE JOHN LENNON LETTERS. He is also well known as a broadcaster and journalist and writes for the INDEPENDENT, SUNDAY TIMES, DAILY MAIL and NEW STATESMAN.

James Hamilton

James Hamilton is an art and cultural historian. His books include TURNER: A LIFE, shortlisted for the James Tait Black Memorial Prize, and A STRANGE BUSINESS: MAKING ART AND MONEY IN NINETEENTH-CENTURY BRITAIN, which in 2014 was named Art Book of the Year by the SUNDAY TIMES. Hamilton was until retirement in 2013 curator of art collections and projects in Portsmouth, Wakefield, Sheffield, Leeds and the University of Birmingham, where he is a Fellow of the Barber Institute of Fine Arts.

Jo Berry

Author and critic Jo Berry has written about TV and film for numerous publications including The Guardian, Radio Times, Empire Magazine, Eve Magazine and Maxim. A contributor to the books 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die and The Rough Guide To Cult TV, among others, she is also the author of The Ultimate DVD Easter Egg Guide, Chick Flicks (with Angie Errigo) and The Parents' Guide To Kids' Movies.

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

Judi Dench

Judi Dench is the foremost actress in British theatre. She was first acclaimed in 1960 as the Juliet for her generation, in the controversial Franco Zeffirelli production of ROMEO AND JULIET at the Old Vic. Her stage career has included productions with the RSC, National Theatre, West End and tours all over the world.She has triumphed in great Shakespearean leads, and on television and film, she has won several awards including an Oscar for her Queen Elizabeth I in SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE and a BAFTA for her title role in IRIS. She was made a DBE in 1988 and a Companion of Honour in 2005. Most recently she has starred in a diverse range of films including THE BEST EXOTIC MARIGOLD HOTEL, SKYFALL and the multi-Oscar-nominated PHILOMENA, the hit BBC TV series CRANFORD and alongside Ben Whishaw in PETER AND ALICE on stage in the West End.

Julia Gregson

Julia Gregson's novel EAST OF THE SUN was chosen for the Richard and Judy TV Book Club and became a Sunday Times bestseller in the UK. Previously a journalist for the Sydney Morning Herald, The Times, Good Housekeeping, and Rolling Stone in the USA, Julia is married and lives in Monmouth. To find out more about Julia and her books, visit her website www.juliagregson.net or follow her on Twitter at @juliagregson

Julian Fellowes

Julian Fellowes, actor, writer, director, producer, was educated at Ampleforth, Magdalene College, Cambridge and Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art. He trained in repertory theatre at Northampton and Harrogate. As creator, sole writer and executive producer of the hit television series DOWNTON ABBEY, Fellowes has won three Emmy awards and a Golden Globe. Fellowes received the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay for GOSFORD PARK (2002). His work was also honoured by the Writer's Guild of America, the New York Film Critics' Circle and the National Society of Film Critics for Best Screenplay. Other writing credits for film include PICCADILLY JIM (2004), VANITY FAIR (2004), YOUNG VICTORIA (2009), THE TOURIST (2010), ROMEO & JULIET (2013), and the three-part drama DOCTOR THORNE for ITV. Fellowes also wrote and directed the award-winning films SEPARATE LIES and FROM TIME TO TIME. Fellowes wrote the books for the Tony-nominated stage production of MARY POPPINS and for SCHOOL OF ROCK: THE MUSICAL which opened on Broadway in December 2015, and was written and produced by Andrew Lloyd Webber.Fellowes has authored two novels: the international bestsellers SNOBS (2005) and PAST IMPERFECT (2008).Julian Fellowes became a life peer in 2011. He lives in Dorset and London with his wife, Emma.