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Humera 09-24-2004 11:17 PM

Aristocrats - books on, or by
 
2 Attachment(s)
I was wondering if anyone here has read the book "Aristocrats" by Stella Tillyard. The book is based on the correspondence between Caroline, Emily, Louisa, and Sarah Lennox, great-grand-daughters of Charles II of Great Britain and his mistress Louise de Keroualle, and daughters of the 2nd Duke of Richmond.The four sisters wrote literally thousands of letters to each other and Stella Tillyard's book mainly draws from this rich correspondence. The book was also made into a sumptuous mini-series a couple of years ago.
There's also an illustrated companion book to the mini-series. I bought it a couple of days ago and its truly amazing.
I'd recommend it to anyone who loves history like myself. Both the book and the illustrated companion are full of details about daily life, fashion, and social customs of the eighteenth century.

Julian 09-26-2004 12:04 AM

Hi Humera, did you have a chance to see the television series that was based on this book? It was a British made series (big surprise!;) and came out about four or five years ago and was excellent. The saddest part of the series was the story of the doomed son of the Duchess of Leinster, he took part in the Irish rebellions and was ultimately sentenced to death. The Duchess could not save him even though she pleaded desperately for his life.

hillary_nugent 09-26-2004 12:52 AM

Sounds interesting....what is the TV series called?

Julian 09-26-2004 02:46 AM

hillary, the tv series is the same name, "Aristocrats". I can't remember who was in the cast, other than the actress who played the Duchess of Leinster in her later years, and that was Sian Phillips who used to be married to the great Peter O'Toole. I haven't searched for the details but you can probably find them if you browse on the entertainment info website imdb.com

hillary_nugent 09-26-2004 04:47 AM

thanks Julian ^____^

Humera 09-26-2004 08:23 PM

yeah I saw the TV series a couple of years ago. Im dying to get it on DVD.
It was absolutely sumptuous with all the magnificent gowns and jewels!
And the reason I especially loved it was because its all based on history, on people who actually lived during the 18th and 19th centuries, people who became famous figures of history, like the Duchess of Lienster's son Edward Fitzgerald, and her nephew Charles James Fox.
If anyone gets their hands on the Illustrated companion to the series, I'd highly recommend it. Its not full of recycled material from the book, nor is a typical "making of" guide. Its actually got tons more information about the lives of the Lennox sisters, daily life in the 18th century and gorgeous pictures of the sisters' homes etc.

semisquare 09-26-2004 10:58 PM

humera

i agree completely, i loved both the book and the tv series. its was wonderfuly done and the costumes were breathtaken. as with history- no extra drama is needed as the tv series shown.

Humera 09-27-2004 09:07 PM

Its a shame that so many of the sisters' letters were destroyed, either by their descendants or as in the case of Louisa, at her death in accordance with her will.

rchainho 08-21-2005 11:27 AM

Russian Aristocrats
 
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article...739000,00.html

Biography: The Princess and The Politicians by John Charmley
REVIEWED BY ADAM ZAMOYSKI
http://images.thetimes.co.uk/images/trans.gifTHE PRINCESS AND THE POLITICIANS: Sex, Intrigue and Diplomacy, 1812-40
by John Charmley


Viking £20 pp350

NI_MPU('middle');Princess Lieven has had more than her fair share of books written about her. And not surprisingly. This exotic Russian aristocrat intrigued and slept her way through an extraordinary array of statesmen, including Metternich, Wellington, Aberdeen, Canning, Grey and Guizot, and was the first non-royal woman in history to attain a central position in European politics and diplomacy.

tiaraprin 08-21-2005 05:56 PM

Thank you for telling us about the book Rchaino!! It is much appreciated!!

Skydragon 10-26-2006 10:26 AM

Last Curtsey: The end of the debutantes, by Fiona MacCarthy
 
How shy Di killed off the debs

'We had to put a stop to it. Every tart in London was getting in." In these words, the late Princess Margaret, with her customary blend of regal hauteur and sod-you directness, described one of the reasons behind the decision, in 1958, to bring an end to the centuries-old tradition of the presentation of debutantes to the Queen.

http://enjoyment.independent.co.uk/b...cle1919252.ece

Alastair_r 12-14-2007 11:46 AM

High society
 
Any good books out about high society, aristocrats and nobility ? X

GlitteringTiaras 12-20-2007 05:42 PM

A book that is simply fantastic, by a historian with whom I greatly admire, David Cannadine, is The Decline and Fall of the British Aristocracy. You might also want to read Ornamentalism: How the British Saw Their Empire; however, the book is more about "how class was the engine for Empire..." compared to The Decline and Fall of the British Aristocracy.


The above mentioned books may be a good jump start, but if you are looking for something more specific, i.e. the aristocracy today, you might want to buy the video of the four part documentary entitled, The Aristocracy. Released by the BBC a couple of years ago the series is invaluable soruce for those who are seriously intereseted in the history British aristocracy as well as their place in today's society (which questions their relevance; as the late 11th Duke of Devonshire noted "...they are a spent force...")

Good luck in your search:smile:

Warren 12-22-2007 07:51 AM

Another recommendation:
Aristocrats by Robert Lacey (based on his BBC TV series of the same name)
First published 1983. ISBN 0 09 154290 1

The book covers six families:
• Duke of Westminster (the Grosvenors)
• Duchess of Medinaceli (the most titled woman in the world)
• Thurn und Taxis (the late Prince Johannes)
• Frescobaldi (long-term friends of the Prince of Wales)
• Marquis de Ganay
• Liechtenstein (the late Prince Franz Josef II)

marmi 06-24-2008 11:26 PM

What is this book like? I caught a glance of my aunt reading it while she was visiting us but never had a chance to ask her.

scooter 06-25-2008 03:35 PM

Was Diana even born then? How could she kill off something before she was even alive?

PrinceOfCanada 06-25-2008 03:51 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by scooter (Post 791441)
Was Diana even born then? How could she kill off something before she was even alive?

Diana was -3 years old in 1958.

scooter 06-25-2008 09:43 PM

Dont think so, she was born 1 1/2 years before me and I am born in 1963. I distinctly remember when she was engaged to C and I was a high school senior at the time.

scooter 06-25-2008 09:44 PM

And 'no doubt' it was all Diana's fault whether she was 3 or not even born, vraiment?

sirhon11234 06-25-2008 10:19 PM

Diana was born in 1961 so this article is pretty lame and funny IMO.

Elspeth 06-25-2008 10:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by scooter (Post 791441)
Was Diana even born then? How could she kill off something before she was even alive?

Erm - read the article that was linked to, and you'll see what the author meant. Strikes me as a real stretch, but I'm sure that subtitle will get people to read the article who otherwise wouldn't, and that, no doubt, was the point.

Elspeth 06-25-2008 10:56 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Skydragon (Post 525968)
How shy Di killed off the debs

'We had to put a stop to it. Every tart in London was getting in." In these words, the late Princess Margaret, with her customary blend of regal hauteur and sod-you directness, described one of the reasons behind the decision, in 1958, to bring an end to the centuries-old tradition of the presentation of debutantes to the Queen.

Last Curtsey: The end of the debutantes, by Fiona MacCarthy - Reviews, Books - The Independent


:rofl::rofl::rofl:


Have you read the book, Skydragon?

PrinceOfCanada 06-26-2008 12:36 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by scooter (Post 791618)
Dont think so, she was born 1 1/2 years before me and I am born in 1963. I distinctly remember when she was engaged to C and I was a high school senior at the time.

-3. Minus 3. As in, 3 years before she was born.

EmpressRouge 06-26-2008 11:20 AM

I think the author was trying to say that symbolically, Diana killed any hope of reviving the idea of the traditional debutante with her tell-all 1995 interview. After the presentation ceremonies ended in 1958, the idea of the virginal, proper, docile deb were dying out in the 60s and 70s with all those scandals. Diana's virginal, proper, docile image in the early 80s was seen as a potential return to the traditional image of the pure deb. Think about how her wedding (and specifically her dress) was a throwback to the big, traditional, romantic wedding from the rebel counterculture chic of the 60s and 70s. However, Diana turned out to be the most rebellious deb of them all. She took lovers, divorced, most importantly, spilled her her guts out on her lovers and divorce in Morton's book and on TV. That the woman thought to be epitome of old-fashioned mores turned out to be the modern of them all, is what killed the idea of the a return to tradition. Thus, it buried the hope of ever reviving the court presentation ceremonies and all they represented.

charlottestreasures 06-26-2008 05:56 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by EmpressRouge (Post 791790)
I think the author was trying to say that symbolically, Diana killed any hope of reviving the idea of the traditional debutante with her tell-all 1995 interview. After the presentation ceremonies ended in 1958, the idea of the virginal, proper, docile deb were dying out in the 60s and 70s with all those scandals. Diana's virginal, proper, docile image in the early 80s was seen as a potential return to the traditional image of the pure deb. Think about how her wedding (and specifically her dress) was a throwback to the big, traditional, romantic wedding from the rebel counterculture chic of the 60s and 70s. However, Diana turned out to be the most rebellious deb of them all. She took lovers, divorced, most importantly, spilled her her guts out on her lovers and divorce in Morton's book and on TV. That the woman thought to be epitome of old-fashioned mores turned out to be the modern of them all, is what killed the idea of the a return to tradition. Thus, it buried the hope of ever reviving the court presentation ceremonies and all they represented.

From reading an excerpt of this book, it struck me for the first time that Diana after a year or so must have been really truly been a shock to Britain and the Royal Family, as she had grown up in an aristocratic family and really turned her back on that way of life. Wonder how come, as her sisters and brothers did not.

scooter 06-26-2008 06:46 PM

I think it was more than a year or two before she turned her back on the old way of life. Frankly, I give her a lot of credit, being as unhappy as she was, for sticking it out quietly as long as she did. As for her siblings not doing so, perhaps their adult life/spousal relationships were more fulfilling, leading her siblings to be more satisfied with the status quo. If you're happy, you're not going to be looking to change things. If you're miserable, you start looking around for ways to 'improve' your life.

randomlyKeira 06-26-2008 07:41 PM

I haven't read the book, though I would be interested to, but from the way it sounds, I think that there is almost a sense of nostalgia and irony to this book. Right, there are no formal ceremonies to present children to the Queen, but there is a sort of informal debutant season still going strong in the UK, as I've seen first hand with many of my relatives. Trust me, Debutants are not as extinct in the UK as some assume, and eve les so in greater Europe.

I agree with EmpressRouge that the author was most likely hinting to the fact that Diana in a way put a cabosh on the idea of a "pure, white, and shiny" Aristocratic Englishwoman, but I thikn she also cemented the idea that to find that pure sort of person you must not be as socially prejudice as the Blue Bloods once were, Kate Middelton is a fine example.

I think that in a way this article highlights everything that we all love and hate about the status quo, while really only highlighting what the entire world was living through in those time. Sex adn so forth were elements of the 60's and 70's,and were natural for any teenager to be mixed up in, because socal status doesn't exempt you from certain heartaches and peer-pressure as some may believe.

But as a grandchild of one of the Debs that came out at the last presenting, there may be more to this story than anyone would be willing to offer, as it really is just a secret society that everyone wants to fight there way into.

RoyalProtocol 08-06-2008 10:15 AM

I've read this book, its OK, it has some interesting information about the 1958 season and the court presentations, it's a good social history and looks at later attempts to revive the season, it also looks at what happend to the gals who curtsied in 1958, The Diana bit just says how after the Panorama interview the deb died and that the traditional idea of a deb could never be revivied. The 1960s is also blamed as part of this end.

Best Quote "We had to end the presentations, every tart in London was getting in" attributed to HRH The Princess Margaret, Countess of Snowdon

ysbel 08-07-2008 09:37 AM

There is another book, The Last Dance, about the London debuntante season of 1939, the season many claimed was the season of the last true debutantes.

Of course it was right before WWII so the atmosphere prior to war was given some attention.

Menarue 08-07-2008 10:12 AM

I have a lovely photograph of a cousin (long dead) wearing the traditional white feathers and white dress when she was presented to Queen Mary. It was a nice custom but must have been a rather expensive one, even Wallis borrowed a dress when she was presented.
Then, there were the garden parties. Invitations were applied for and a letter of recommendation from some "bigwig" usually got the person in. I don´t even know if they still have these or are they a thing of the past.

MARG 08-07-2008 12:23 PM

I find it one of life's amusing ironies that whilst the BRF declared the 'Deb Do' passe in Britain, American 'Society' is ruthlessly enforcing the rite of passage of the "Debutante Ball". After having graduated from the finest "Mommy and Me Group", and aspiring Ivy League pre-schools, private schools and a few "Finishing" schools the poor dears are thrust into Society's gentle arms by mothers whose enthusiasm would not be out of place behind the scenes at a beauty pagent!:whistling:

Elspeth 08-07-2008 11:41 PM

Sometimes I wonder about Amazon. I was looking for Last Curtsey over there, and it turns out that it's eligible for their Fall Textbook promotion.

Amazon.com: Last Curtsey: The End of the Debutantes: Fiona MacCarthy: Books

Somehow, reading this thread, I'd never have taken it for a textbook....

ysbel 08-09-2008 01:20 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MARG (Post 808169)
I find it one of life's amusing ironies that whilst the BRF declared the 'Deb Do' passe in Britain, American 'Society' is ruthlessly enforcing the rite of passage of the "Debutante Ball". After having graduated from the finest "Mommy and Me Group", and aspiring Ivy League pre-schools, private schools and a few "Finishing" schools the poor dears are thrust into Society's gentle arms by mothers whose enthusiasm would not be out of place behind the scenes at a beauty pagent!:whistling:

I went to a Southern upperclass private school and debutante balls were big but even then they started to lose their significance.

The girls got their ball but after the ball, everybody's life went back to normal.

In my mother's day, it was much more of a big-do. Families on the fringe were clamoring for their daughters to get in and there was a season afterwards where a lot of engagements were announced.

By the time I was in school, the girls had their big parties and then went to the universities just like the girls who didn't go to deb balls. The deb balls were considered more fertile ground for the deb's fathers to meet and cement business deals than it was for their daughters to find a husband.

But the royal debutante audience seems like it was on a totally different plane. It was as if the King and Queen were the pinnacle of society and one could not be considered a part of society (and enjoying all its privileges) unless one was presented to the King and Queen.

I think the royal debutante audience could only exist in a time when the King and Queen were considered the pinnacle and arbiters of society. Starting in the 60s, people didn't want to be dictated to as far as who they socialized with or what they did with their free time.

The society that everyone had previously aspired to had disintegrated or made irrevelent and for the most part, people on the fringes stopped trying to get in.

It did make the deb balls rather irrelevant.

Alastair_r 09-17-2008 07:40 PM

Royalty and High Society
 
Can anyone recomend any books on royalty, high society or the jet set ? X

RoyallyRich 09-20-2008 02:50 AM

Hello!Well there is not alot of books out there that merges these two things.In books of high society like those written by the late great Society writer like Stephen Birmingham,there are hints of European Royalty and comparisons here and there.My favorite books by him is America's Secret Aristocracy and The Right People.There is also the 2004 big Assouline coffee table book celebrating the life and style of Venezuelan Grandee and American fashion designer Caroline Herrera.There are few mentions of British Royalty and a picture with King Juan Carlos and Princess Margaret.
Also read Robert Lacey's book called Aristocrats.Most likely you already have.Alot of bios on Jackie Kennedy constantly stress this subject.It is a great idea to write a book on this.There seems to be not a single book out there that focuses on this.:ermm:You should write it Alistair,and make millions and you better send me a signed copy!:smile:

Incas 09-20-2008 03:22 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Alastair_r (Post 825066)
Can anyone recomend any books on royalty, high society or the jet set ? X

Well, you can start with checking in your local library for books on the royal family, or a particular royal/aristocrat you are interested in.

Elspeth 09-20-2008 04:10 AM

If you look through this forum, you'll see all sorts of recommendations of books on royalty. Last month's book-of-the-month choice was "The Marlborough House Set," which is about Edward VII's aristocratic set of friends. If you want something more up-to-date, I'm sure the threads in this forum will give you some leads.

Madame Royale 09-20-2008 08:45 AM

Not sure about books, but you could always hire out High Society which features Grace Kelly (HSH The Princess of Monaco) and Bing Crosby...:biggrin:

Elly C 11-07-2008 01:25 PM

I know its a while since you first posted this question but I have a few ideas for books on Royalty & High Society etc. RoyallyRich mentioned Assouline publications - well quite a few of their titles bridge these two areas. " Royal Holidays" for example. It's worth looking at their website. They are coffee table books but there's a fair amount to text too.
If you are interested from a historical perspective, Charles Graves "Royal Riviera" is excellent now out of print, but fairly easy to pick up.
I have a particular interest in reading about the social history of the South of France/Monaco & can also recommend"Cote D'Azur (Inventing the French Riviera)" by Mary Blume & " When the Rviera Was Ours" by Patrick Howarth

RubyPrincess168 11-17-2008 03:16 AM

I stumbled up Stephen Birmingham's America's Secret Aristocracy in Half Price Books, bought it and loved it. I reread it alot! I also have High Society: The History of America's Upper Class and Royal Holidays on my Christmas wish list. They're both by Assouline.

Lady Marmalade 11-21-2008 10:21 AM

Whoever on here posted about A Season of Splendor: The Court of Mrs. Astor in Gilded Age New York, was wonderful!!!!!!!!!! Thank you! I just finished reading, and it was one of the best, most thorough books on NY high society during that time.

Attaining Grace 01-04-2009 01:47 AM

I love to read about high society - pretty well anywhere! I found a Vanderbilt genealogy blog the other day. I must put it in the links section.

Warren 04-12-2009 10:20 AM

High Society: The History of America's Upper Class
Nick Foulkes, 2009

The Classicist: The History of America's Upper Class

"Interestingly enough it took a foreigner - namely super-stylish British historian, author, and journalist Nick Foulkes - to realize that for most people the appeal of society swells is purely decorative. What sets his recently published book - High Society: The History of America's Upper Class - apart from the usual social history is the amazing array of archival photographs. Beginning with the early 17th century, Foulkes focuses on the famous families - the Vanderbilts, Fricks, Morgans, and Astors among them - who came to embody the American aristocracy. He also plots the social trajectory all the way to the present day, and heiresses such as the famed Miller Sisters, aka Pia Getty, Princess Alexandra von Furstenberg and Princess Marie Chantal of Greece, pictured on the book's cover, above."

jonnydep 09-22-2009 10:41 AM

:previous:
i second that...... very good book, i have it myself.
me and my friend mafan was discussing the book the other day funny enough !!
its a pity that the tv series has never been released on video or dvd. i would love to watch it again......:smile:

Ducii 02-02-2010 06:38 AM

Books by Ernest Kolowrat
 
Ernest Kolowrat comes from Czech nobility, but after 1948 he had to move to another country. In his three book (donť know the titles in English) he describe his memoires, how it was hard to start living in USA,...
It is really interesting and shocking story... Anyone read any of this three books??

frank22 02-06-2010 12:56 PM

Books about the spanish aristrocracy:

Title: Nobleza Obliga
Author: Ricardo Mateos Sainz de Medrano
Publisher: Editorial La Esfera
Spain
[La Esfera de los Libros]

Title: GRANDES DE ESPAÑA: HISTORIAS Y PERSONAJES DE LA ARISTOCRACIA
Author: Marta Rivera de la Cruz
Publisher: Aguilar 2004
Spain
GRANDES DE ESPAÑA: HISTORIAS Y PERSONAJES DE LA ARISTOCRACIA: en su libreria Casa del Libro

Marta Rivera de la Cruz_

Warren 08-18-2010 07:14 AM

"My Last Duchess" by Daisy Godwin 2010
 
"My Last Duchess"
by Daisy Godwin

Cash for titles: The Billion-dollar ladies | Mail Online

Publisher: HEADLINE REVIEW
Publication Date : 19/08/2010

ISBN: 9780755348060

Excerpts:

For daughters of the new American billionaires of the 19th century, it was the ultimate deal: marriage to a cash-strapped British aristocrat in return for a title and social status. But money didn’t always buy them happiness, says Daisy Goodwin.

In 1895 when Consuelo Vanderbilt, the daughter of the American billionaire Willie Vanderbilt, married Sunny, Duke of Marlborough, in New York, the wedding was the media event of the year; the closest modern equivalent would be Prince Harry marrying Paris Hilton. Three hundred policemen were employed outside the church to hold back the thousands of onlookers desperate to catch a glimpse of the glamorous bride in the dress with the five-yard train.

Details of the wedding were reported on the front page of The New York Times, and Vogue devoted pages to the bride’s trousseau, describing everything down to the white brocade corset, which had gold clasps studded with diamonds. Consuelo carried orchids which had been grown in the greenhouses of Blenheim Palace and shipped over to New York in a specially refrigerated chamber, because Marlborough brides always carried flowers from Blenheim. The presents were displayed for the public, as they are at royal weddings today, and the queue to admire the gifts – which included a string of pearls once owned by Catherine the Great – stretched halfway down Fifth Avenue.

The second half of the 19th century was the time when the American billionaire was created – men like Cornelius Vanderbilt, Consuelo’s great-grandfather, who made a fortune out of railways; Andrew Carnegie, whose empire was built on steel, and Isaac Singer, who built the first commercially successful sewing machine. These men were rolling in ready money, unlike the English aristocracy, who were land rich but cash poor and whose income dwindled every year thanks to the agricultural depression and the new death duties.

Consuelo was the most famous of the ‘dollar princesses’ – the fabulously rich daughters of these billionaires who came to England looking for the one thing they couldn’t buy at home: a title. In 1895 alone, nine American heiresses married members of the English aristocracy, and by the end of the century a quarter of the House of Lords had a transatlantic connection.

Even Princess Diana had an American great-grandmother. It was a straightforward economic exchange: American girls got to be aristocrats and impoverished peers got the money to mend their stately homes. Mary Leiter, who married Lord Curzon, had a dowry of £1.5 million as the daughter of a wealthy department store owner from Chicago – that’s about £50 million in today’s money. And Consuelo’s dowry was double that.

Transatlantic matches became so much the rage among the newly rich that a whole industry sprang up to serve their needs, including professional matchmakers and magazines. Typically, the American heiress would start by consulting the quarterly publication The Titled American: a list of American ladies who have married foreigners of rank.

This contained a register of all the eligible titled bachelors still on the market, with a handy description of their age, accomplishments and prospects – for example: The Marquess of Winchester is the fifteenth Marquess and Premier Marquess in the Peerage of Great Britain. He is also the Hereditary Bearer of the Cap of Maintenance. The entailed estates amount to 4,700 acres, yielding an income of $22,000. He is 32 years of age, and a captain of the Coldstream Guards.
Family seat: Amport House, Hampshire From The Titled American No 2 March 1890.

This 19th-century version of match.com was in great demand in the Fifth Avenue and Newport mansions where these American heiresses lived. Many came from families whose wealth was very recent, and who were desperate to stand out in a famously snobbish New York society where mere money was no guarantee of acceptance. The upper echelon, known famously as The Four Hundred, was based on the number of people who could fit comfortably into Mrs Astor’s ballroom – Mrs Astor being the most powerful woman in New York society on account of both her breeding and her fabulous wealth.

frank22 09-05-2010 02:51 AM

"El fin de una era"
Autora: Aline, condesa de romanones
Editorial: Ediciones B
Spain

frank22 11-09-2010 05:13 AM

Title: "Wait for Me!"
Deborah Mitford, Duchess of Devonshire


http://www.newyorksocialdiary.com/node/1904361


http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0374207682?pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER

Marengo 11-09-2010 05:59 AM

I have bought those as well, frank! Together with Charlotte Mosley's book with letters between the duchess and Diana Mosley. I can also recommend 'The Pursuit of Laughter', with several articles written by Diana (and I belioeve again editted by her daughter-in-law, Charlotte).

I bought Mary Lovell's book about all the Mitford sisters this summer and it is a fascinating family.

Warren 12-04-2010 11:52 AM

"Wait for Me!", Deborah Mitford, Duchess of Devonshire (2010)
 
The Daily Beast: Duchess of Devonshire

"Wait for Me!", Deborah Mitford, Duchess of Devonshire (2010)

-> front cover

In her new memoir and a collection of letters, the last Mitford sister, the Duchess of Devonshire, talks about chickens, her famous siblings, and having tea with Hitler.

On a trip to America for the inauguration of President Kennedy, Deborah (Debo) Mitford, the youngest of the infamous, outrageous, glamorous Mitford sisters and the then-Duchess of Devonshire, described an encounter with the newly appointed president: “Jack asked me what I do all day. Stumped.” What does a duchess do all day? Well, shoot pheasants, for starters. Back home, at Chatsworth, the 400-year-old seat of the Devonshire clan, Debo was struck by the contrast to America: “V odd to be back here, shooting cock pheasants out of the car.” Later that year, when invited back to Washington, she almost backed out, preferring to stick to familiar pursuits: “I’ve got cold feet now & heartily wish I was staying here pulling triggers,” she wrote to her great friend, the travel writer Patrick Leigh Fermor.

The duchess’ interests extend beyond her chickens, but she was not exactly cultivated for wide-ranging intellectual endeavors. As the sixth girl, her birth was, she says, “a deeply disappointing event” to her parents. “No one, except Nanny, looked at me till I was three months old,” writes Debo, but even Nanny Blor did not indulge her; during Debo’s childhood ups and downs “Nanny sat on any ups.” The girls were educated at first by their mother and then by a series of governesses, one of whom “encouraged in us the difficult art of shoplifting,” another who “was not interested in education but loved playing cards.”

The main work of the duchess’ life after her marriage was not chickens but Chatsworth. After her husband, Andrew, inherited the dukedom in 1950, Debo found herself in charge of seven houses in short order. “No wonder,” she writes, “I put down ‘Housewife’ when filling in a form that demanded my occupation; I was wife to all of them.”

Tilla 12-05-2010 03:36 PM

I am just discovering this thread about books....which I will study further with some more time. At the moment I am reading: Esther Gräfin von Schwerin "Kormorane, Brombeerranken" - very lovely and interesting... thank you.

frank22 01-12-2011 05:44 PM

"Los palacios de la castellana"
Author: Ignacio gonzalez varas
editorial turner, Spain
Turner - Colecciones - Arte y Fotografía - Los palacios de la Castellana

nascarlucy 01-12-2011 07:39 PM

Has a royal ever written a book about themselves without assistance from others? This would be interesting reading.

I find it very sad that many of these individuals want their letters or personal diaries destroyed upon their death. I don't think they have deep dark secrets that they are keeping. Perhaps some of what they may have said is embarrasing to them or might be viewed in a way that wasn't intended but I would think that they would go through their correspondence and then leave letters or parts of their diary that were not controversial. A lot of these documents are historical in nature and perhaps give insight into the time period when they were written.

My grandmother left some letters that she and my grandfather exchanged during their courtship period (early 1920's). She didn't want them to be destroyed and really didn't care if others outside the family read them. Some of the letters my mother and I were quite touched by (we never realized how much a romantic my grandfather was). It gave an insight into the time period the letters were written. Some pictures we have never seen were enclosed in the letters. We would have very sad if she had told us upon her death to destroy or burn these letters.

pgm1952 06-14-2011 10:37 PM

I was extatic when I found a copy of Lady Airlie's postumously published memoirs "Thatched with Gold" about two years ago. Mabel Ogilvy, Countess of Airlie (Lady Airlie) has been quoted in many books and her observations are vital for any book on that time in the British Royal family (1902 to 1953; her time in waiting to Queen Mary). Her early life is interesting as well, including her husband who was unquestionably the love of her life. She may have over romanticized him as he was kia during the Boer War and she was made a widow at about thirty or forty.

Lenora 12-19-2011 05:30 PM

Could somebody recommend any new books about modern british nobilty or a specific person or family?

Alastair_r 05-20-2013 04:14 PM

Nobility at Versailles
 
Can anyone recommend any good books on the nobility and court life at Versailles ? X

Nice Nofret 05-20-2013 04:45 PM

You could read the book written by the Duc de Saint-Simon; that's first hand.

Breffney 09-24-2013 11:27 AM

Darling Monster
 
Not strictly a "royal" book per se but she (Lady Diana Cooper) interacted frequently with the royals.

It is definately on my Christmas list. !

'Princess Margaret was like an edible little tart': She knew everyone ¿ from Churchill to the Royals. And society beauty Diana Cooper's letters are a riot of indiscretion | Mail Online

Darling Monster: The Letters of Lady Diana Cooper to her Son John Julius Norwich 1939-1952: Amazon.co.uk: Diana Cooper, Viscount John Julius Norwich: Books

Alastair_r 01-05-2014 08:58 AM

French Nobility
 
Can anyone recommend any books on the history of the French nobility ? From the start of Louis XIV at Versailles onwards if possible X

Beberoyal 03-01-2014 11:28 AM

"To Marry An English Lord"
"Edwardians in Love"
"The Titled Americans"
"The Perfect Summer-England 1911"
"Season of Splendor"
"Heir Apparent-bio of Edward VIi"

All are about British aristocracy in Edwardian times, or late Victorian era.

LadyFinn 01-11-2015 04:39 PM

Lady Ursula d'Abo, the daughter of John Henry Montaqu Manners, the 9th Duke of Rutland tells about her life at a book "The Girl with the Widow's Peak" (2014)

Lady Ursula is now 98 years old. At the coronation of George VI, Lady Ursula was a train-bearer to Queen Elizabeth.

"This is the Real Thing, an evocative account of English upper-class life throughout the 20th century. It begins amidst the Edwardian feudal splendours of Belvoir Castle, where Ursula d’Abo spent much of her childhood with her beloved grandfather ‘Appi’. At the coronation of George VI he was a maid of honour to the Queen. During the second world war she worked with 2,000 women making bullets. Postwar life was hardly less varied and amazing, with an other-worldly stay in princely India, and meetings with Nehru. Married life at West Wratting Park and Kensington Square, two beautiful Georgian houses she restored, was followed in her widowhood by five years with Paul Getty at Sutton Place."
From Edwardian idyll to meetings with Nehru the life of Lady Ursula D’Asbo » The Spectator

The cover of the book
http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41UOvnlAHWL.jpg

"But it was Ursula who was photographed standing behind the King and Queen on Buckingham Palace balcony. Those photographs were printed in newspapers across the globe and Ursula, with her distinctive widow’s peak hairline, became famous overnight. An American magazine published a poem in which each verse began with the line: ‘Who is that beautiful Lady in Waiting?’ Celebrity, however, had never been the Duke’s aim for his daughter. He intended her to marry a man like himself, preferably another duke."
Lady Ursula d'Abo The shy beauty who upstaged a queen Daily Mail Online

Lady Ursula is the mother of Henry d'Abo, whose wife is Tatjana d'Abo, the sister of Christopher O'Neill, princess Madeleine's husband.


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