Fascinating ... Anne de Courcy is sympathetic to her subject. She's a journalist with a keen eye for detail and no-nonsense directness
A love triangle that nearly brought down the British government is at the heart of Margot at War by Anne de Courcy. Margot Asquith, whose husband was Prime Minister from 1908 to 1916, is the star of this riveting biography about war, love, marriage and secret goings-on at 10 Downing Street
A superb evocation of an extraordinary time
Covers everything from Asquith's infidelity to politics and parties
Margot was a rare bird indeed: stylish, idiosyncratic and never less than controvserial ... Superbly blending the private and public, domestic dramas with international crises, Anne de Courcy proves that Mrs Asquith, flamboyant and opinionated, but also isolated and vulnerable, was peculiarly well suited to a period when her celebrity, if not her influence, had never been greater
A riveting, brilliantly researched picture of Downing Street during the crucial years in which the world changed irrevocably
Margot Asquith's sharp humour, modern style, intelligence and wealth fascinated men... Anne de Courcy has a firm grasp of politics, an acute eye for social detail and a keen perception of Margot's pains and pleasures. Her narrative is concise and compelling.
There are many instances in this engaging book, where, as well us giving us an informed account of events, the writer includes observations that are both logical and empathetic. This is a useful, entertaining and impressive publication
De Courcy, author of the celebrated The Fishing Fleet: Husband Hunting in the Raj, indulges us with generous quotes from contemporary correspondence and detailed observation, describing life at a time of turbulent change through engaging anecdotes and descriptions
A proper sex in high places scandal... Though Margot Asquith, nee Tennant, is its main character, her husband's scandalous obsession with young Venetia Stanley is inevitably centre stage
Margot scandalised society. She refused chaperonage and said what she thought. Plain, with a broken nose from hunting, she dressed beautifully, and was immensely rich when she married Herbert Henry Asquith, subsidising his love of luxury... The research is impressive and the eventful historical context covered with a light touch. Enlightening, especially on Asquith's intractable opposition to the suffragettes.
It conveys Margot's milieu with a nice touch and takes time away from this enclosed self-regarding world to give us vivid sharp vignettes of the harder times being experienced by other classes. De Courcy records very well Margot's tortured jealousy, not only of her husband's dalliance with Venetia Stanley but of his daughter Violet's almost incestuous passion for her father
The story of this fascinating character and London socialite is told with both a storyteller's flourish and a historian's clear head for the facts by Anne de Courcy in Margot at War. The torrid personal life of the flamboyant prime minister's wife is pieced apart by de Courcy, revealing a saga of glamour, affairs and relationship dysfunction, all unravelling alongside the first attacks of the Suffragette movement, the swelling unrest over Irish Home Rule and of course the lead up to the outbreak of the Great War. File under the "couldn't make it up" category
As I read with increasing amazement at these carryings-on, the thought kept intruding: this is a plot that Downton Abbey would die for! ... Anne de Courcy keeps this steaming, erotic merry-go-round whirling with admirable skill. Using Margot's diaries and a wealth of letters and other sources, she brings those fraught days of war alive, weaving them into their context with an immediacy of unexpected detail ... This book makes you feel you are there watching the tears fall - especially Margot's - into the emotional cauldron bubbling out of control