Related to: 'The Husband Hunters'

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 Drawing on unpublished material from personal papers and diaries, Anne de Courcy vividly recreates this extraordinary time when the Prime Minister's residence was run like an English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
W&N

Snowdon

Anne de Courcy
Authors:
Anne de Courcy
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

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.

Anne de Courcy

Anne de Courcy is the author of thirteen widely acclaimed works of social history and biography, including THE HUSBAND HUNTERS, THE FISHING FLEET, THE VICEROY'S DAUGHTERS and DEBS AT WAR. In the 1970s she was Woman's Editor on the LONDON EVENING NEWS and in the 1980s she was a regular feature-writer for the EVENING STANDARD. She is also a former features writer and reviewer for the DAILY MAIL.

Antony Beevor

Antony Beevor is the author of CRETE: The Battle and the Resistance (Runciman Prize), STALINGRAD (Samuel Johnson Prize, Wolfson Prize for History and Hawthornden Prize), BERLIN: The Downfall, THE BATTLE FOR SPAIN (Premio La Vanguardia), D-DAY: The Battle for Normandy (Prix Henry Malherbe and the RUSI Westminster Medal), THE SECOND WORLD WAR, ARDENNES 1944 (Prix Médicis shortlist) and ARNHEM: The Battle for the Bridges. The number one bestselling historian in Britain, Beevor's books have appeared in thirty-two languages and have sold just over seven million copies. A former chairman of the Society of Authors, he has received a number of honorary doctorates. He is also a visiting professor at the University of Kent and an Honorary Fellow of King's College, London. He was knighted in 2017.

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.

David Hall

David Hall is a bestselling writer and TV producer. He has produced landmark documentaries and factual series for the BBC, Channel 4, PBS, Discovery, the History Channel and the Travel Channel. He is the author of MANCHESTER'S FINEST, WORKING LIVES and WORKTOWN.

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

Eric Hobsbawm

Born in Alexandria in 1917, Eric Hobsbawm was educated in Vienna, Berlin, London and Cambridge. A Fellow of the British Academy and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, he taught for most of his career at Birkbeck College, University of London, where he was Emeritus Professor of Economic and Social History. He is best known for his trilogy of studies on the long 19th century. He died in London in 2012 at the age of ninety-five.

Hannah Richell

Hannah Richell was born in Kent and spent her childhood years in Buckinghamshire and Canada. After graduating from the University of Nottingham she worked in the book publishing and film industries in both London and Sydney. She is a dual citizen of Great Britain and Australia and currently lives the South West of England with her family. Hannah is the author of international bestsellers Secrets of the Tides and The Shadow Year. The Peacock Summer is her third novel. Her books have been translated into fourteen languages.

John Erickson

John Erickson was an Honorary Fellow in Defence Studies and Professor Emeritus at the University of Edinburgh. He was a leading authority on the Soviet-German War and lectured on Soviet-German affairs at the universities of Oxford, St Andrews and Manchester as well as a number of American universities.

John Hatcher

John Hatcher is Professor of Economic and Social History and Chairman of the History Faculty at Cambridge University. He has taught the subject of the Black Death for twenty years and is the author of eight books on medieval and early modern history. He has appeared in the BBC series TIMEWATCH and the Channel 4 series THE SEVEN AGES OF BRITAIN, and has acted as an advisor to numerous other television history series.

John Penycate

John Penycate is a television and print journalist. He has reported regularly on-screen for BBC The Money Programme and Panorama over the past twenty years from dozens of countries around the world, and interviewed major political and business leaders. Earlier, he was a globe-trotting Panorama producer. He has written articles for the national press, and co-wrote the non-fiction book PSYCHOPATH. He is a visiting lecturer at the journalism departments of London and Westminster Universities. He lives in London, and is active in institutes and societies concerned with the media and public affairs.

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

Julia Fox

Julia Fox is an author and historical researcher, and a former teacher. She lives in London with her husband, the Tudor historian, John Guy. She is the author of JANE BOLEYN and SISTER QUEENS.

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.