This is an updated editon with additional information on some of the nurses supplied by their relatives after they read the first edition.
Edward VII's most fascinating mistresses were aristocrats' wives like the multi-talented unconventional Lady Jennie Churchill, mother of Winston, and the headstrong heiress, Daisy, Countess of Warwick, mother of one of Edward's love children. Beautiful Alice Keppel became the love of Edward's life and was the great-grandmother of Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, yet another royal mistress.
Edward's grandson, Edward VIII suffered an attack of mumps that left him physically and mentally immature. He implored Mrs Freda Dudley Ward to elope but she refused. Another mistress, Lady Thelma Furness, star of Hollywood's silent screen, introduced Edward to the domineering Wallis Simpson who insisted the impotent king seek psychiatric help. In order that Wallis could look like a queen the Duke of Windsor lavished her with jewels and forgave her infidelities in this most intriguing of all royal stories.
This classic Australian biography is a tribute to one of Australia's most heroic women, who always spoke with great fondness of Queensland as her birthplace. In 2006, a Loch Memorial Museum was opened in the tower by the sea in Ouranoupolis, a tribute to the Lochs and their humanitarian work.
Warned by her wealthy father to avoid fortune hunters, Nell married after a whirlwind courtship. She wrote Tales from the Left Bank but her publisher demanded sexual privileges so she sold individual chapters as short stories. Her spy novel set against the infamous ‘Lockhart plot’ to kill Lenin in September 1918 was banned under the Official Secrets Act.
When divorced, Nell worked in Paris for the former Russian Prime Minister, Alexander Kerensky who edited an anti-Communist anti-Hitler newspaper. Her rally driving skills saved her husband from Stalin’s assassins in a harrowing car chase through the narrow streets of Montparnasse. As the Germans invaded Paris, Kerensky was on Hitler’s death list and they joined a long queue of cars heading south. German planes bombed cars and machine-gunned their drivers so they sheltered in a ditch with only polluted water to drink. Eventually they reached the coast and were rescued by a British warship.
The American government financed their passage to New York, where Kerensky became an advisor on Russian affairs and they were treated like royalty by exiled Russians. Nell suffered kidney damage as a result of drinking polluted water. They returned to Brisbane for the last months of Nell’s life when her family home became a centre of international intrigue.
Now, decades later, the Queen has relaxed the ancient rules, allowing Prince Charles to marry his mistress and the Queen's grandsons, William and Harry to marry for love, in a significant change in royal history.
As a young soldier in the battlefields of Gallipoli, Sydney Loch witnessed the horror of war first-hand. On his return to Australia he detailed what he saw in his book, the Straits Impregnable. Hoping to avoid military censorship, his publishers dubbed Sydney's book a novel. But as the war ground on and the numbers of casualties grew, the publisher inserted a note saying the story was factual. the book, which had enjoyed huge literary acclaim, was immediately withdrawn from sale by the censors. Sydney Loch's experiences in the war shaped his life afterwards. With his wife, Joice, he went on to work in refugee camps in Poland and Palestine, and his many subsequent books, set in war-torn countries, reflected his humanitarian beliefs. In to Hell and Back, historians Susanna and Jake de Vries have recovered and edited Sydney's book for a new generation of readers and written a biography of his remarkable life.
'...eloquent and laconic...' The Australian, 5th April 2007 'Susanna and Jake de Vries have done well to resurrect this forgotten Australian story.' The Sun Herald, 14th-15th April 2007