The Mitfords had style and presence and were mercilessly gifted. Above all, they were funny—hilariously and mercilessly so. In this wise, evenhanded, and generous book, Mary Lovell captures the vitality and drama of a family that took the twentieth century by storm and became, in some respects, its victims.
From the author of The Sisters, a chronicle of the most brutal, turbulent, and exuberant period of England's history. Bess Hardwick, the fifth daughter of an impoverished Derbyshire nobleman, did not have an auspicious start in life. Widowed at sixteen, she nonetheless outlived four monarchs, married three more times, built the great house at Chatsworth, and died one of the wealthiest and most powerful women in English history.
In 1527 England was in the throes of violent political upheaval as Henry VIII severed all links with Rome. His daughter, Queen Mary, was even more capricious and bloody, only to be followed by the indomitable and ruthless Gloriana, Elizabeth I. It could not have been more hazardous a period for an ambitious woman; by the time Bess's first child was six, three of her illustrious godparents had been beheaded.
Using journals, letters, inventories, and account books, Mary S. Lovell tells the passionate, colorful story of an astonishingly accomplished woman, among whose descendants are counted the dukes of Devonshire, Rutland, and Portland, and, on the American side, Katharine Hepburn.
A celebrated aristocratic beauty, Jane Digby married Lord Ellenborough at seventeen. Their divorce a few years later was one of England s most scandalous at that time. In her quest for passionate fulfilment she had lovers which included an Austrian prince, King Ludvig I of Bavaria, and a Greek count whose infidelities drove her to the Orient. In Syria, she found the love of her life, a Bedouin nobleman, Sheikh Medjuel el Mezrab who was twenty years her junior.
Bestselling biographer Mary Lovell has produced from Jane Digby’s diaries not only a sympathetic and dramatic portrait of a rare woman, but a fascinating glimpse into the centuries-old Bedouin tradition that is now almost lost.
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Mary S. Lovell brilliantly recounts the triumphant political and military campaigns, the construction of great houses, the domestic tragedies, and the happy marriage of Winston to Clementine Hosier set against the disastrous unions of most of his family, which ended in venereal disease, papal annulment, clinical depression, and adultery.
The Churchills were an extraordinary family: ambitious, impecunious, impulsive, brave, and arrogant. Winston—recently voted "The Greatest Briton"—dominates them all. His failures and triumphs are revealed in the context of a poignant and sometimes tragic private life.
At the heart of dynamic group was the amazing Maxine Elliott, the daughter of a fisherman from Connecticut, who built the beautiful art deco Château and brought together the likes of Noel Coward, the Aga Khan, the Duke and Duchess of Windsor and two very saucy courtesans, Doris Castlerosse and Daisy Fellowes, who set out to be dangerous distractions to Winston Churchill as he worked on his journalism and biographies during his 'wilderness years' in the thirties. After the War the story continued as the Château changed hands and Prince Aly Khan used it to entertain the Hollywood set, as well as launch his seduction of and eventual marriage to Rita Hayworth
Bringing a bygone era back to life, Mary Lovell cements her spot as one of our top social historians in this captivating and evocative new book.
Betty Pack's milieu was the aristocratic world of international diplomatic society The wife of a career British diplomat-the marriage for both partners had quickly become an arrangement of convenience, not passion - Betty would be witness to and participant in many of the most intense historic moments of the twentieth century: in civil war-torn Madrid, besieged Warsaw occupied Paris, wartime Washington. In each locale, Betty's entrée into diplomatic circles and her own penchant for seeking out men at the center of conflict made her a spy whose love of adventure was matched only by her talent for uncovering the enemy's secrets. Betty often knew what information her spymasters wanted; more important, she knew whom to approach and seduce in order to obtain it.
Relying on top-secret and heretofore unrevealed documents from British Intelligence as well as on Betty's own memoir written shortly before her death, Mary Lovell offers a remarkable portrait of a woman whose adeptness for intrigue in affairs of espionage and passion is astonishing. Cast No Shadow is a story of subterfuge and romantic expediency the exposes the hidden human intrigue of World War II and the life of a woman whose contribution to the Allied effort was invaluable and unique.