The Mistresses of Cliveden

The Mistresses of Cliveden
Author: Natalie Livingstone
Pages: 512
ISBN: 9780553392081
Available:
Release: 2016-06-14
Editor: Ballantine Books
Language: en

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For fans of Downton Abbey comes an immersive historical epic about a lavish English manor and a dynasty of rich and powerful women who ruled the estate over three centuries of misbehavior, scandal, intrigue, and passion. Five miles from Windsor Castle, home of the royal family, sits the Cliveden estate. Overlooking the Thames, the mansion is flanked by two wings and surrounded by lavish gardens. Throughout its storied history, Cliveden has been a setting for misbehavior, intrigue, and passion—from its salacious, deadly beginnings in the seventeenth century to the 1960s Profumo Affair, the sex scandal that toppled the British government. Now, in this immersive chronicle, the manor’s current mistress, Natalie Livingstone, opens the doors to this prominent house and lets the walls do the talking. Built during the reign of Charles II by the Duke of Buckingham, Cliveden attracted notoriety as a luxurious retreat in which the duke could conduct his scandalous affair with the ambitious courtesan Anna Maria, Countess of Shrewsbury. In 1668, Anna Maria’s cuckolded husband, the Earl of Shrewsbury, challenged Buckingham to a duel. Buckingham killed Shrewsbury and claimed Anna Maria as his prize, making her the first mistress of Cliveden. Through the centuries, other enigmatic and indomitable women would assume stewardship over the estate, including Elizabeth, Countess of Orkney and illicit lover of William III, who became one of England’s wealthiest women; Augusta of Saxe-Gotha, the queen that Britain was promised and then denied; Harriet, Duchess of Sutherland, confidante of Queen Victoria and a glittering society hostess turned political activist; and the American-born Nancy Astor, the first female member of Parliament, who described herself as an “ardent feminist” and welcomed controversy. Though their privileges were extraordinary, in Livingstone’s hands, their struggles and sacrifices are universal. Cliveden weathered renovation and restoration, world conflicts and cold wars, societal shifts and technological advances. Rich in historical and architectural detail, The Mistresses of Cliveden is a tale of sex and power, and of the exceptional women who evaded, exploited, and confronted the expectations of their times. Praise for The Mistresses of Cliveden “Theatrical festivities, political jockeying and court intrigues are deftly described with a verve and attention to domestic comforts that show the author at her best. . . . [Livingstone’s] portraits of strenuous and assertive women who resisted subjection, sometimes deploying their sexual allure to succeed, on other occasions drawing on their husband’s wealth, are astute, spirited, and empathetic.”—The Wall Street Journal “Missing Downton Abbey already? This tome promises ‘three centuries of scandal, power, and intrigue’ and Natalie Livingstone definitely delivers.”—Good Housekeeping “Lively . . . The current chatelaine—the author herself—deserves no small credit for keeping the house’s legend alive. . . . Any of her action-filled chapters would merit a mini-series.”—The New York Times Book Review “Though the personal tales and tidbits are fascinating, and the sensational details of these women’s lives will intrigue Downton Abbey devotees, the real star of the story is Cliveden.”—Booklist “Lovers of modern English history and the scandals that infiltrated upper-crust society will find much to enjoy in this work.”—Library Journal

Fall of Poppies

Fall of Poppies
Author: Heather Webb,Hazel Gaynor,Beatriz Williams,Jennifer Robson,Jessica Brockmole,Kate Kerrigan,Evangeline Holland,Lauren Willig,Marci Jefferson
Pages: 368
ISBN: 9780062418562
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Release: 2016-03-01
Editor: HarperCollins
Language: en

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Top voices in historical fiction deliver an unforgettable collection of short stories set in the aftermath of World War I—featuring bestselling authors such as Hazel Gaynor, Jennifer Robson, Beatriz Williams, and Lauren Willig and edited by Heather Webb. On the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month... November 11, 1918. After four long, dark years of fighting, the Great War ends at last, and the world is forever changed. For soldiers, loved ones, and survivors the years ahead stretch with new promise, even as their hearts are marked by all those who have been lost. As families come back together, lovers reunite, and strangers take solace in each other, everyone has a story to tell. In this moving anthology, nine authors share stories of love, strength, and renewal as hope takes root in a fall of poppies. Featuring: Jessica Brockmole Hazel Gaynor Evangeline Holland Marci Jefferson Kate Kerrigan Jennifer Robson Beatriz Williams Lauren Willig Heather Webb

The Women of Rothschild

The Women of Rothschild
Author: Natalie Livingstone
Pages: 464
ISBN: 9781250280190
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Release: 2022-07-26
Editor: St. Martin's Press
Language: en

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In The Women of Rothschild, Natalie Livingstone reveals the role of women in shaping the legacy of the famous Rothschild dynasty, synonymous with wealth and power...

The Long Weekend

The Long Weekend
Author: Adrian Tinniswood
Pages: 344
ISBN: 9780465098651
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Release: 2016-05-03
Editor: Basic Books
Language: en

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From an acclaimed social and architectural historian, the tumultuous, scandalous, glitzy, and glamorous history of English country houses and high society during the interwar period As WWI drew to a close, change reverberated through the halls of England's country homes. As the sun set slowly on the British Empire, the shadows lengthened on the lawns of a thousand stately homes. In The Long Weekend, historian Adrian Tinniswood introduces us to the tumultuous, scandalous and glamorous history of English country houses during the years between World Wars. As estate taxes and other challenges forced many of these venerable houses onto the market, new sectors of British and American society were seduced by the dream of owning a home in the English countryside. Drawing on thousands of memoirs, letters, and diaries, as well as the eye-witness testimonies of belted earls and bibulous butlers, Tinniswood brings the stately homes of England to life as never before, opening the door to a world by turns opulent and ordinary, noble and vicious, and forever wrapped in myth. We are drawn into the intrigues of legendary families such as the Astors, the Churchills and the Devonshires as they hosted hunting parties and balls that attracted the likes of Charlie Chaplin, T.E. Lawrence, and royals such as Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson. We waltz through aristocratic soiré, and watch as the upper crust struggle to fend off rising taxes and underbred outsiders, property speculators and poultry farmers. We gain insight into the guilt and the gingerbread, and see how the image of the country house was carefully protected by its occupants above and below stairs. Through the glitz of estate parties, the social tensions between old money and new, the hunting parties, illicit trysts, and grand feasts, Tinniswood offers a glimpse behind the veil of these great estates -- and reveals a reality much more riveting than the dream.

The Duchess Countess

The Duchess Countess
Author: Catherine Ostler
Pages: 432
ISBN: 9781982179755
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Release: 2022-02-22
Editor: Simon and Schuster
Language: en

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This “funny, intelligent, witty, profound” (Andrew Roberts, New York Times bestselling author) look at the stylish and scandalous Elizabeth Chudleigh, Duchess of Kingston—a woman whose adventurous life led to an infamous bigamy trial that was bigger news in British society than the American War of Independence—provides a clear-eyed and fascinating look into the sumptuous Georgian Era. As maid of honor to the Princess of Wales, Elizabeth Chudleigh enjoyed a luxurious life in the inner circle of the Hanoverian court. With her extraordinary style and engaging wit, she both delighted and scandalized the press and public. She would later even inspire William Thackeray when he was writing his classic Vanity Fair, providing the inspiration for the alluring social climber Becky Sharp. But Elizabeth’s real story is more complex and surprising than anything out of fiction. A clandestine, candlelit wedding to the young heir to an earldom, a second marriage to a duke, a lust for diamonds, and an electrifying appearance at a masquerade ball in a gossamer dress—it’s no wonder that Elizabeth’s eventual trial was a sensation. Charged with bigamy, an accusation she vehemently fought against, Elizabeth refused to submit to public humiliation and retire quietly. Perfect for fans of The Duchess and Women of Means, this long overdue and evocative biography reappraises Elizabeth’s remarkable story, and out of the past comes an incredibly modern woman who defied society’s expectations of her.

Ambition and Desire

Ambition and Desire
Author: Kate Williams
Pages: 380
ISBN: 9780771088612
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Release: 2014-11-04
Editor: McClelland & Stewart
Language: en

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From CNN’s official royal historian, a highly praised young author with a doctorate from Oxford University, comes the extraordinary rags-to-riches story of the woman who conquered Napoleon’s heart—and with it, an empire. Their love was legendary, their ambition flagrant and unashamed. Napoleon Bonaparte and his wife, Josephine, came to power during one of the most turbulent periods in the history of France. The story of the Corsican soldier’s incredible rise has been well documented. Now, in this spellbinding, luminous account, Kate Williams draws back the curtain on the woman who beguiled him: her humble origins, her exorbitant appetites, and the tragic turn of events that led to her undoing. Born Marie-Josèphe-Rose de Tascher de La Pagerie on the Caribbean island of Martinique, the woman Napoleon would later call Josephine was the ultimate survivor. She endured a loveless marriage to a French aristocrat—executed during the Reign of Terror—then barely escaped the guillotine blade herself. Her near-death experience only fueled Josephine’s ambition and heightened her determination to find a man who could finance and sustain her. Though no classic beauty, she quickly developed a reputation as one of the most desirable women on the continent. In 1795, she met Napoleon. The attraction was mutual, immediate, and intense. Theirs was an often-tumultuous union, roiled by their pursuit of other lovers but intensely focused on power and success. Josephine was Napoleon’s perfect consort and the object of national fascination. Together they conquered Europe. Their extravagance was unprecedented, even by the standards of Versailles. But she could not produce an heir. Sexual obsession brought them together, but cold biological truth tore them apart. Gripping in its immediacy, captivating in its detail, Ambition and Desire is a true tale of desire, heartbreak, and revolutionary turmoil, engagingly written by one of England’s most praised young historians. Kate Williams’s searing portrait of this alluring and complex woman will finally elevate Josephine Bonaparte to the historical prominence she deserves.

Nancy The Story of Lady Astor

Nancy  The Story of Lady Astor
Author: Adrian Fort
Pages: 400
ISBN: 9781250010964
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Release: 2013-01-22
Editor: St. Martin's Press
Language: en

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A new biography of Nancy Astor, American socialite and social crusader who blazed a trail through British society amid two World Wars In 1919, Nancy Astor became the first female Member of Parliament elected to the House of Commons—she was not what had been expected. Far from a virago who had suffered for the cause of female suffrage, Lady Astor was already near the center of the ruling society that had for so long resisted the political upheavals of the early twentieth century, having married into one of the richest families in the world. She wasn't even British, but the daughter of a famous Virginian family, and fiercely proud of her expatriate ancestry. But her moral drive was strong, and she would utilize her position of privilege and influence to blow a bracing American wind into what she regarded as the stuffy corners of British politics. This account charts Nancy Astor's incredible story, from relative penury in the American South to a world of enormous countryside estates and townhouses, and the most lavish entertainments, peopled by the great figures of the day—Churchill, Chamberlain, FDR, Charlie Chapin, J. M. Barrie, and Lawrence of Arabia were all part of her social circle. But hers was not to be an easy life of power and pure glamour; it was also defined by principles and bravery, war and sacrifice, love, and the most embittered disputes. With glorious, page-turning brio, Adrian Fort brings to life this restless, controversial American dynamo, an unforgettable woman who left a deep and lasting imprint on the political life of a nation.

Queen Isabella

Queen Isabella
Author: Alison Weir
Pages: 528
ISBN: 9780345497062
Available:
Release: 2006-12-26
Editor: Ballantine Books
Language: en

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BONUS: This edition contains an excerpt from Alison Weir's Mary Boleyn. In this vibrant biography, acclaimed author Alison Weir reexamines the life of Isabella of England, one of history’s most notorious and charismatic queens. Isabella arrived in London in 1308, the spirited twelve-year-old daughter of King Philip IV of France. Her marriage to the heir to England’s throne was designed to heal old political wounds between the two countries, and in the years that followed she became an important figure, a determined and clever woman whose influence would come to last centuries. Many myths and legends have been woven around Isabella’s story, but in this first full biography in more than 150 years, Alison Weir gives a groundbreaking new perspective.

The Women of Rothschild

The Women of Rothschild
Author: Natalie Livingstone
Pages: 464
ISBN: 9781250280206
Available:
Release: 2022-07-26
Editor: St. Martin's Press
Language: en

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In The Women of Rothschild, Natalie Livingstone reveals the role of women in shaping the legacy of the famous Rothschild dynasty, synonymous with wealth and power...

The Husband Hunters

The Husband Hunters
Author: Anne de Courcy
Pages: 336
ISBN: 1250164605
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Release: 2019-09-24
Editor: St. Martin's Griffin
Language: en

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Becoming Queen

Becoming Queen
Author: Kate Williams
Pages: 432
ISBN: 9780099451822
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Release: 2009
Editor: Random House
Language: en

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Our perception of Victoria the Queen is coloured by portraits of her older, widowed self - her dour expression embodying the repressive morality propagated in her time. But Becoming Queen reveals an energetic and vibrant woman, determined to battle for power. It also documents the Byzantine machinations behind Victoria's quest to occupy the throne, and shows how her struggles did not end when finally the crown was placed on her head. Laying bare the passions that swirled around the throne in the eighteenth century, Becoming Queen is an absorbingly dramatic tale of secrets, sexual repression and endless conflict. After her lauded biography of Emma Hamilton, England's Mistress, Kate Williams has produced a most original and intimate portrait of Great Britain's longest reigning monarch.

That Woman

That Woman
Author: Anne Sebba
Pages: 368
ISBN: 9781429962452
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Release: 2012-02-14
Editor: St. Martin's Press
Language: en

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The first full scale biography of Wallis Simpson to be written by a woman, exploring the mind of one of the most glamorous and reviled figures of the Twentieth Century, a character who played prominently in the blockbuster film The King's Speech. This is the story of the American divorcee notorious for allegedly seducing a British king off his throne. "That woman," so called by Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother, was born Bessie Wallis Warfield in 1896 in Baltimore. Neither beautiful nor brilliant, she endured an impoverished childhood, which fostered in her a burning desire to rise above her circumstances. Acclaimed biographer Anne Sebba offers an eye-opening account of one of the most talked about women of her generation. It explores the obsessive nature of Simpson's relationship with Prince Edward, the suggestion that she may have had a Disorder of Sexual Development, and new evidence showing she may never have wanted to marry Edward at all. Since her death, Simpson has become a symbol of female empowerment as well as a style icon. But her psychology remains an enigma. Drawing from interviews and newly discovered letters, That Woman shines a light on this captivating and complex woman, an object of fascination that has only grown with the years.

The Day I Died

The Day I Died
Author: Steve Sjogren
Pages: 228
ISBN: 9781459606883
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Release: 2010-10
Editor: ReadHowYouWant.com
Language: en

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An Unforgettable Story of Life After Death It was a beautiful winter's day, showing no signs of what was to come. Steve Sjogren, a successful pastor of a growing church, went into the hospital for routine surgery and died twice. What began as a tragic medical accident led to Steve's near-death experience, an encounter of unimaginable peace and s...

The Heir Apparent

The Heir Apparent
Author: Jane Ridley
Pages: 768
ISBN: 9780812972634
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Release: 2014-08-12
Editor: Random House Trade Paperbacks
Language: en

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NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW AND THE BOSTON GLOBE This richly entertaining biography chronicles the eventful life of Queen Victoria’s firstborn son, the quintessential black sheep of Buckingham Palace, who matured into as wise and effective a monarch as Britain has ever seen. Granted unprecedented access to the royal archives, noted scholar Jane Ridley draws on numerous primary sources to paint a vivid portrait of the man and the age to which he gave his name. Born Prince Albert Edward, and known to familiars as “Bertie,” the future King Edward VII had a well-earned reputation for debauchery. A notorious gambler, glutton, and womanizer, he preferred the company of wastrels and courtesans to the dreary life of the Victorian court. His own mother considered him a lazy halfwit, temperamentally unfit to succeed her. When he ascended to the throne in 1901, at age fifty-nine, expectations were low. Yet by the time he died nine years later, he had proven himself a deft diplomat, hardworking head of state, and the architect of Britain’s modern constitutional monarchy. Jane Ridley’s colorful biography rescues the man once derided as “Edward the Caresser” from the clutches of his historical detractors. Excerpts from letters and diaries shed new light on Bertie’s long power struggle with Queen Victoria, illuminating one of the most emotionally fraught mother-son relationships in history. Considerable attention is paid to King Edward’s campaign of personal diplomacy abroad and his valiant efforts to reform the political system at home. Separating truth from legend, Ridley also explores Bertie’s relationships with the women in his life. Their ranks comprised his wife, the stunning Danish princess Alexandra, along with some of the great beauties of the era: the actress Lillie Langtry, longtime “royal mistress” Alice Keppel (the great-grandmother of Camilla Parker Bowles), and Lady Randolph Churchill, mother of Winston. Edward VII waited nearly six decades for his chance to rule, then did so with considerable panache and aplomb. A magnificent life of an unexpectedly impressive king, The Heir Apparent documents the remarkable transformation of a man—and a monarchy—at the dawn of a new century. Praise for The Heir Apparent “If [The Heir Apparent] isn’t the definitive life story of this fascinating figure of British history, then nothing ever will be.”—The Christian Science Monitor “The Heir Apparent is smart, it’s fascinating, it’s sometimes funny, it’s well-documented and it reads like a novel, with Bertie so vivid he nearly leaps from the page, cigars and all.”—Minneapolis Star Tribune “I closed The Heir Apparent with admiration and a kind of wry exhilaration.”—The Wall Street Journal “Ridley is a serious scholar and historian, who keeps Bertie’s flaws and virtues in a fine balance.”—The Boston Globe “Brilliantly entertaining . . . a landmark royal biography.”—The Sunday Telegraph “Superb.”—The New York Times Book Review

Elizabeth of York

Elizabeth of York
Author: Alison Weir
Pages: 576
ISBN: 9781448191383
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Release: 2013-11-07
Editor: Random House
Language: en

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‘Weir perfectly combines the dramatic colour and timing of an historical novelist with the truth to fact of a scrupulous historian’ The Times Britain’s foremost female historian reveals the true story of this key figure in the Wars of the Roses and the Tudor dynasty who began life a princess, spent her youth as a bastard fugitive, but who finally married the first Tudor king and was the mother of Henry VIII. Elizabeth of York would have ruled England, but for the fact that she was a woman. Heiress to the royal House of York, she schemed to marry Richard III, the man who had deposed and probably killed her brothers, and it is possible that she then conspired to put Henry Tudor on the throne. Yet after marriage to Henry VII, which united the royal houses of Lancaster and York, a picture emerges of a model consort - mild, pious, generous and fruitful. It has been said that Elizabeth was distrusted by Henry VII and her formidable mother-in-law, Margaret Beaufort, but contemporary evidence shows that Elizabeth was, in fact, influential. Alison Weir builds an intriguing portrait of this beloved queen, placing her in the context of the magnificent, ceremonious, often brutal, world she inhabited, and revealing the woman behind the myth.

When the Astors Owned New York

When the Astors Owned New York
Author: Justin Kaplan
Pages: 208
ISBN: 9781101218815
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Release: 2006-06-01
Editor: Penguin
Language: en

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In this marvelous anecdotal history, Justin Kaplan––Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer of Mark Twain––vividly brings to life a glittering, bygone age. Endowed with the largest private fortunes of their day, cousins John Jacob Astor IV and William Waldorf Astor vied for primacy in New York society, producing the grandest hotels ever seen in a marriage of ostentation and efficiency that transformed American social behavior. Kaplan exposes it all in exquisite detail, taking readers from the 1890s to the Roaring Twenties in a combination of biography, history, architectural appreciation, and pure reading pleasure

As Long as Life

As Long as Life
Author: Mary Canaga Rowland
Pages: 177
ISBN: UOM:39015032095054
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Release: 1994
Editor: Unknown
Language: en

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Tells the story of one of the first women doctors in the U.S., detailing the hardships of her early life in Kansas to establishing her medical practice in a male dominated field

The Convenient Marriage

The Convenient Marriage
Author: Georgette Heyer
Pages: 288
ISBN: 9781407089027
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Release: 2010-05-05
Editor: Random House
Language: en

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_____________ ‘One of my perennial comfort authors. Heyer’s books are as incisively witty and quietly subversive as any of Jane Austen’s’ Joanne Harris _____________ Horry Winwood doesn’t play by the rules. So when her family are near ruin and her sister is about to enter a loveless marriage to a wealthy man to settle the family debts, young and headstrong Horry proposes to marry him in her sister's place. As her new husband's attentions fall elsewhere, Horry begins to feel increasingly unhappy. Then she meets the attractive and dangerous Lord Lethbridge and her days suddenly become more exciting. But there is bad blood between Horry's husband and her new acquaitnance, and as complications and deceptions mount, the social tangle grows ever trickier to unpick. Will Horry’s gamble cost her everything she holds most dear? _____________ WHY READERS LOVE GEORGETTE HEYER AND THE CONVENIENT MARRIAGE: "Handsome hero, beautiful heroine, nasty baddie, beautiful gowns and all misunderstandings sorted out by the last page. If you've never read Georgette Heyer before - why?" "This was my first Georgette Heyer novel and I thoroughly enjoyed it! The story concerns love and marriage, trust and friendship, gossip and dastardly deeds, insult and revenge, misunderstandings and mishaps." "You really find yourself getting inside the characters and caring about them." "These Regency novels of Georgette Heyer are a constant delight and in a world class of their own. They can all be re-read time and time again" "This book brings the period to life... the description of the dresses and carriages makes you imagine you the scenes vividly" "Her attention to detail brings the pages alive and you can imagine yourself back in Regency England for a couple of hours. Absolutely love her books!" "Heyer is the queen of this genre." "Packed with entertainment, good historical detail and all the twists and turns." "A story which has everything: romance, highwaymen, duels at dawn and countless parties"

An English Affair Sex Class and Power in the Age of Profumo

An English Affair  Sex  Class and Power in the Age of Profumo
Author: Richard Davenport-Hines
Pages: 352
ISBN: 9780007435869
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Release: 2012-12-17
Editor: HarperCollins UK
Language: en

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WINNER OF THE POLITICAL BOOK AWARDS POLITICAL HISTORY BOOK OF THE YEAR 2014. Published to coincide with the fiftieth anniversary of the Profumo scandal, An English Affair is a sharp-focused snapshot of a nation on the brink of social revolution.

Black Diamonds

Black Diamonds
Author: Catherine Bailey
Pages: 544
ISBN: 9780141906003
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Release: 2008-03-06
Editor: Penguin UK
Language: en

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An extraordinary tale of family feuds, forbidden love, civil unrest and the downfall of a mining dynasty Wentworth in Yorkshire was surrounded by 70 collieries employing tens of thousands of men. It is the finest and largest Georgian house in Britain and belonged to the Fitzwilliam family. England's forgotten palace, it belonged to Britain's richest aristocrats. Black Diamonds tells the story of its demise: family feuds, forbidden love, class war, and a tragic and violent death played their part. But coal, one of the most emotive issues in twentieth century British politics, lies at its heart. This is the extraordinary story of how the fabric of English society shifted beyond recognition in fifty turbulent years in the twentieth century. 'Magnificent . . . peels back the grand façade of Wentworth to reveal a family riven with fueds, mental illness and forbidden love' Tatler 'A compelling new history . . . fascinating insights into the dynasty that once ruled this Yorkshire roost' Daily Mail 'An aristocratic tale of epic proportions, this gripping novel cleverly interweaves interviews, letters and historical fact . . . Fascinating' Easy Living