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  #41  
Old 08-28-2008, 01:02 AM
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I'm sure that's true, but it seemed an awfully chancy business. Some of those women were fairly trapped in their situations, dependent on husbands or fathers or sons to keep them going, whereas others seemed to have a lot of freedom. Makes you wonder what some of them could have accomplished with some financial independence.
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  #42  
Old 08-30-2008, 07:09 AM
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The aristocracy certainly did have odd ideas about women. I was amazed when I read in another book that Lady Diana Cooper's mother warned her not to become a nurse in case she was raped by a patient! The patients were injured soldiers.
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  #43  
Old 08-31-2008, 01:05 PM
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Just to see if this gets the discussion moving any more, there will be no formal questions this week. As we are at the end of the book, please now feel free to discuss the book at will. Although if you have found anything particularly interesting in the last chapters, it would be great to hear it!
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  #44  
Old 08-31-2008, 01:33 PM
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Well, I must admit that when I got to the chapter about Arthur Balfour and Lady Elcho, I did wonder if any of the members of that set spent any time sleeping with their spouses. No wonder some of those people despised the future George V and Queen Mary for being boring!
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  #45  
Old 09-02-2008, 07:21 AM
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I am intrigued by the relationship between Jennie Churchill and Edward VII. Anita Leslie argues that they didn't have an affair but 'the hour of bliss' seems incriminating! What do you think of the way that the author handles this mystery? She's very anxious to defend Jennie's innocence in this matter.
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  #46  
Old 09-02-2008, 12:47 PM
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I think that's part of the peril of having a biased individual write the book. I suppose it's possible that there was nothing sexual going on, but Edward VII's reputation does make that a little unlikely. The author also goes to some lengths to say that Leonie's relationship with the Duke of Connaught was platonic. All these platonic Jeromes in the midst of such a non-platonic group of people!

I was quite intrigued by the description of Queen Alexandra and Princess Victoria. Toria always seems to be such an unsympathetic character to those of us who know her mostly from the time of George V's reign, but it sounds as though she was quite appealing as a younger woman. It's really quite amazing how Queen Alexandra has got away with such an uncritical press when she was so selfish. I suppose that being beautiful and also being Queen didn't hurt...

I've started reading "The Perfect Summer" by Juliet Nicolson, which is an account of life in England during the summer of 1911, just after Edward VII's death and during the lead-up to World War I. Some of the same characters are appearing, in particular Gladys Ripon and Theresa Londonderry, and there's also an account of the way Lady Ripon behaved with Lady Londonderry's love letters, which led to the estrangement between the Londonderrys. It's interesting to see a different perspective on some of these people, especially during the new reign when the King and Queen were quite different from Edward and Alexandra, although she's silent on the subject of whether Jennie Churchill had had an affair with the King.
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  #47  
Old 09-03-2008, 01:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Empress View Post
The questions for today -

. Do you think the relationship between the Duke of Connaught and Leonie Leslie would have been portrayed as platonic by an author who was not related to Leonie?

2. Had the Duke and Leonie both been widowed and free to marry, would a marriage between them have been possible?
OK...First I have to apologize for coming into this conversation so late..and my second apology if I totally screwed up quoting Empress on this reply. It's my first attempt at doing a quote in a reply.

This book has long been a favorite of mine. In fact I received this book from my All-Things-English-Loving Grandmother many many years ago. It has always been an interesting read for me.

I've often wondered if Anita Leslie censored her knowledge when it came to her grandmother and the Duke of Connaught. Perhaps she didn't want to spill some family secrets. I think that had both parties been free to marry they would have done so.

I think the book does a nice job of introducing us to many of the characters of Edwardian England, even if some may not have been intimates of the Marlborough House set. The book does a good job showing how the upper class spent their time and money during that era.
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  #48  
Old 09-04-2008, 07:02 AM
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I've read The Perfect Summer, Elspeth, and I enjoyed it very much. I read it a long time ago, however, so I might read it again now so that I can see the author's different perspective.
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  #49  
Old 09-05-2008, 10:13 PM
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It's interesting to see the same characters from a different perspective. Juliet Nicolson is also the granddaughter of members of the set, or at least of members of the aristocracy during that time, but her family isn't as prominent in the book as Anita Leslie's in the Marlborough House Set. I liked the way The Perfect Summer took up pretty well where The Marlborough House Set left off, and brought things into the new reign. I'm on the last chapter at the moment.
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  #50  
Old 09-08-2008, 07:32 AM
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I didn't realise that Juliet Nicolson is the granddaughter of members of the set! I really enjoyed that book so it will be lovely to read it again.
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  #51  
Old 09-08-2008, 07:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Elspeth View Post
It's interesting to see the same characters from a different perspective. Juliet Nicolson is also the granddaughter of members of the set, or at least of members of the aristocracy during that time, but her family isn't as prominent in the book as Anita Leslie's in the Marlborough House Set. I liked the way The Perfect Summer took up pretty well where The Marlborough House Set left off, and brought things into the new reign. I'm on the last chapter at the moment.
You can always add it as a Book of the month. . . .
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  #52  
Old 09-09-2008, 03:39 AM
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I was very interested to read this thread. I enjoyed "The Marlborough House Set" very much. I found the insight the author could provide due to her particular knowledge and personal connection with some of the players to be one of the interesting features.

Of course one must be cautious when a biographical account is written by a relative of the subjects of the book, and those of you who wonder about the relationships between Leonie and Arthur, and between Jennie and "Tumtum"....., might also be interested in reading "Fortune's Daughters: The Extravagant Lives of the Jerome Sisters: Jennie Churchill, Clara Frewen and Leonie Leslie", by Elisabeth Kehoe. For reviews see: FORTUNE'S DAUGHTERS, by Elisabeth Kehoe Kehoe has a doctorate in history and her book is much longer and more scholarly than Leslie's, but still easy to read.

Kehoe wasn't able to find any evidence that the two Jerome sisters were definitely having affairs with Queen Victoria's sons, but she does go as far as saying Jennie was probably the Prince of Wales' lover. She also says that after the Duchess of Connaught's death, the Duke turned to Leonie for comfort and that they remained intimate for the next 25 years and that the Duke never remarried. She says that "if" Leonie and Arthur were having an affair, Leonie's son Lionel could have been Arthur's child, but she says there is no evidence of this, and also that Leonie was always very discreet.

Leonie and Arthur exchanged thousands of letters, and they were certainly extremely close for forty years, and likewise Jennie and the Prince of Wales had a very close relationship for decades. One thing I find particularly interesting is the fact that Jennie and Leonie remained friends with the Princess of Wales/Queen and the Duchess of Connaught respectively.

"The Perfect Summer" is now on my "want" list.
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