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  #61  
Old 03-01-2014, 10:28 AM
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"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.
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  #62  
Old 01-11-2015, 03:39 PM
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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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  #63  
Old 02-27-2015, 06:16 AM
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With All For All: The Life of Simon de Montfort

With All For All: The Life of Simon de Montfort by Darren Baker


New biography on Simon de Montfort, 6th Earl of Leicester






With All For All: The Life of Simon de Montfort


http://www.amazon.com/All-Life-Simon...on+de+montfort
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  #64  
Old 08-04-2020, 07:53 AM
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I really enjoyed reading Black Diamonds: The Rise and Fall of an English Dynasty by Catherine Bailey

The book primarily focus on William Wentworth-Fitzwilliam, 7th Earl Fitzwilliam, but Bailey also described the political and social landscapes from early 20th century and after WWII.

Bailey also covered the life of Kick Kennedy, particularly when she was in the UK and her relationship with William Cavendish, Marquess of Hartington and Peter Wentworth-Fitzwilliam, 8th Earl Fitzwilliam.

The book was originally published in 2007. Penguin Publishing Group then released another version in 2014.

[...]
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  #65  
Old 08-13-2020, 11:58 AM
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Its a big read, but if you can get through it, William Shawcross's bio of the late Queen Mother is very good. It is "official" in that the QM authorised it's writing and Shawcross had access to a lot of people and material the hacks don't get.

I'm currently reading "The American Duchess" by Anna Pasternak. I read the Duchess's autobiography "The Heart Has Its Reasons" some years ago and find her quite fascinating. I always felt she was very poorly treated both by the Palace and the press and without justification. I don't believe she ever wanted to marry Edward or that she was a Nazi sympathiser or collaborator. Nor did she want her marriage to Ernest Simpson to end. but Edward had other ideas. I don't find him likeable at all. Narcissistic, spoiled, wanting all the perks of Royal life without much of the responsibilities.

"Princess Margaret" by Theo Aronson is very good as is "Matriarch" by Anne Edwards. The latter is about the late Queen Mary, mother of the late Duke of Windsor who abdicated the throne for Wallis Simpson.

"Charles" which is Sally Bedell Smith's book about HRH Prince Charles is excellent. And if you want something a bit dishy, read "The Diana Chronicles" by Tina Brown. Gives an interesting look at the late Diana, Princess of Wales.

"Mrs Guiness; The Rise and Fall of Diana Mitford" by Lyndsy Spence is very good. Diana really paid the price for her falling for Oswald Mosley.

I also have "The Long Weekend: Life in the English Country House Between the Wars" by Adrian Tinniswood on my Kindle but am finding it tough going. I might finish it or I might not.
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  #66  
Old 08-28-2020, 08:15 AM
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The Secret Rooms: A True Gothic Mystery by Catherine Bailey

I have just finished reading the book, The Secret Rooms: A True Gothic Mystery by Catherine Bailey.

The non-fiction is on the life of John Manners, 9th Duke of Rutland, particularly on his war-time service in WWI. Unlike Black Diamonds, Bailey has written her own experience in uncovering and discovering John's life through his diary, corresponding letters and war-time records, mainly at Belvoir Castle.

Without spoiling further, Bailey tries to find out why John decided to erase certain part of his life from his household and public.

I am personally not a fan of gothic, horror, mystery/suspense genre, because I get frightened and nightmares so easily . However, this non-fiction did not scare me at all. Instead, the book uncovers tragedies and misfortunes within the Manners family.

The Guardian has written a review: https://www.theguardian.com/books/20...-bailey-review

The Telegraph has also written a review: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/...ey-review.html

What I love about both The Secret Rooms and Black Diamonds are the inclusion of illustrations throughout the books, family tree in the beginning, notes on the letter correspondents and indexes at the back of the book. In The Secret Rooms particular, there are maps, floor plans of the castle and photos of letters that were striking. I do find these resources very useful to contextualise the events.

I found this book from my local library. It was published at the end of 2012.
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  #67  
Old 08-28-2020, 10:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AC21091968 View Post
I have just finished reading the book, The Secret Rooms: A True Gothic Mystery by Catherine Bailey.

The non-fiction is on the life of John Manners, 9th Duke of Rutland, particularly on his war-time service in WWI. Unlike Black Diamonds, Bailey has written her own experience in uncovering and discovering John's life through his diary, corresponding letters and war-time records, mainly at Belvoir Castle.

Without spoiling further, Bailey tries to find out why John decided to erase certain part of his life from his household and public.

I am personally not a fan of gothic, horror, mystery/suspense genre, because I get frightened and nightmares so easily . However, this non-fiction did not scare me at all. Instead, the book uncovers tragedies and misfortunes within the Manners family.

The Guardian has written a review: https://www.theguardian.com/books/20...-bailey-review

The Telegraph has also written a review: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/...ey-review.html

What I love about both The Secret Rooms and Black Diamonds are the inclusion of illustrations throughout the books, family tree in the beginning, notes on the letter correspondents and indexes at the back of the book. In The Secret Rooms particular, there are maps, floor plans of the castle and photos of letters that were striking. I do find these resources very useful to contextualise the events.

I found this book from my local library. It was published at the end of 2012.
Thank you so much for reviewing this book. I love books on royalty and aristocracy and I will definitely read this one. Is this the book because it has a slightly different title:
https://www.amazon.com/Secret-Rooms-...8625233&sr=8-1
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  #68  
Old 08-28-2020, 10:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AC21091968 View Post
I have just finished reading the book, The Secret Rooms: A True Gothic Mystery by Catherine Bailey.

The non-fiction is on the life of John Manners, 9th Duke of Rutland, particularly on his war-time service in WWI. Unlike Black Diamonds, Bailey has written her own experience in uncovering and discovering John's life through his diary, corresponding letters and war-time records, mainly at Belvoir Castle.

Without spoiling further, Bailey tries to find out why John decided to erase certain part of his life from his household and public.

I am personally not a fan of gothic, horror, mystery/suspense genre, because I get frightened and nightmares so easily . However, this non-fiction did not scare me at all. Instead, the book uncovers tragedies and misfortunes within the Manners family.

The Guardian has written a review: https://www.theguardian.com/books/20...-bailey-review

The Telegraph has also written a review: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/...ey-review.html

What I love about both The Secret Rooms and Black Diamonds are the inclusion of illustrations throughout the books, family tree in the beginning, notes on the letter correspondents and indexes at the back of the book. In The Secret Rooms particular, there are maps, floor plans of the castle and photos of letters that were striking. I do find these resources very useful to contextualise the events.

I found this book from my local library. It was published at the end of 2012.
Ok. Ok... you've whetted my appetite for good books to read and I'm going to go find them at my deale.. err supplier of books for dirt cheap and put them in my basket to order when magic money comes in a few days here.

You know what magic money is right? The now you see it, now you don't kind.
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  #69  
Old 08-28-2020, 10:44 AM
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Originally Posted by nascarlucy View Post
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.
I agree. I find it very sad that Princess Margaret destroyed a lot of the Queen Mothers letters after her death. She had them burned.
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  #70  
Old 08-28-2020, 10:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Merrie View Post
Its a big read, but if you can get through it, William Shawcross's bio of the late Queen Mother is very good. It is "official" in that the QM authorised it's writing and Shawcross had access to a lot of people and material the hacks don't get.

I'm currently reading "The American Duchess" by Anna Pasternak. I read the Duchess's autobiography "The Heart Has Its Reasons" some years ago and find her quite fascinating. I always felt she was very poorly treated both by the Palace and the press and without justification. I don't believe she ever wanted to marry Edward or that she was a Nazi sympathiser or collaborator. Nor did she want her marriage to Ernest Simpson to end. but Edward had other ideas. I don't find him likeable at all. Narcissistic, spoiled, wanting all the perks of Royal life without much of the responsibilities.

"Princess Margaret" by Theo Aronson is very good as is "Matriarch" by Anne Edwards. The latter is about the late Queen Mary, mother of the late Duke of Windsor who abdicated the throne for Wallis Simpson.

"Charles" which is Sally Bedell Smith's book about HRH Prince Charles is excellent. And if you want something a bit dishy, read "The Diana Chronicles" by Tina Brown. Gives an interesting look at the late Diana, Princess of Wales.

"Mrs Guiness; The Rise and Fall of Diana Mitford" by Lyndsy Spence is very good. Diana really paid the price for her falling for Oswald Mosley.

I also have "The Long Weekend: Life in the English Country House Between the Wars" by Adrian Tinniswood on my Kindle but am finding it tough going. I might finish it or I might not.
I have read those books and agree that they are excellent. Another book I recommend on Diana is "Diana in Search of Herself: Portrait of a Troubled Princess" It really delves into her mental health issues. I also recommend "The Mitfords: Letters between Six Sisters". It gives so much insight into their lives and their relationships with each other. It is almost like a biography on each one up to the time in their lives when it was written.
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  #71  
Old 08-28-2020, 06:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by duchessrachel View Post
Thank you so much for reviewing this book. I love books on royalty and aristocracy and I will definitely read this one. Is this the book because it has a slightly different title:
https://www.amazon.com/Secret-Rooms-...8625233&sr=8-1
It is the book. I think it's either a US publication or a re-release.
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  #72  
Old 08-29-2020, 04:31 PM
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Originally Posted by AC21091968 View Post
It is the book. I think it's either a US publication or a re-release.
Thank you.
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  #73  
Old 08-29-2020, 05:07 PM
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Originally Posted by AC21091968 View Post

What I love about both The Secret Rooms and Black Diamonds are the inclusion of illustrations throughout the books, family tree in the beginning, notes on the letter correspondents and indexes at the back of the book. In The Secret Rooms particular, there are maps, floor plans of the castle and photos of letters that were striking. I do find these resources very useful to contextualise the events.
Bevloir Castle really is spectacular. John Julius Norwich is here talking about prewar boyhood Christmas visits to his uncle the 9th duke:

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  #74  
Old 08-29-2020, 06:00 PM
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Originally Posted by duchessrachel View Post
Thank you.
No worries, I hope you enjoy the book as much as I did
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  #75  
Old 08-29-2020, 07:09 PM
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Bevloir Castle really is spectacular. John Julius Norwich is here talking about prewar boyhood Christmas visits to his uncle the 9th duke:

Lovely interview. I like how much detail John Julius Norwich has described on spending Christmas at Belvoir Castle.

Belvoir Castle, along with Wentworth Woodhouse, Chatsworth House, Blenheim Palace and Longleat House are part of my bucket list for sightseeing/exploring, when I do visit UK in the future, if I can afford it
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  #76  
Old 08-30-2020, 12:42 PM
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Well they're all splendid houses. The only one I haven't been inside is Wentworth Woodhouse. I saw the east front on a rather cool & overcast day some years ago but the house was then not open to the public.

Don't forget Haddon of course. An extraordinary survivor of a medieval house with the touching memorial to Lord Haddon in the chapel (as mentioned in the book).
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  #77  
Old 08-31-2020, 02:01 AM
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Originally Posted by Durham View Post
Well they're all splendid houses. The only one I haven't been inside is Wentworth Woodhouse. I saw the east front on a rather cool & overcast day some years ago but the house was then not open to the public.

Don't forget Haddon of course. An extraordinary survivor of a medieval house with the touching memorial to Lord Haddon in the chapel (as mentioned in the book).
Oh yes definitely. When I looked at the picture of the Lord Haddon's memorial sculpture and drawings on her Wikipedia page, I cannot denied she is a talented artist. For the sketches, the amount of details on the facial features is something to behold.

Link to Violet Manners, Duchess of Rutland's wikipedia page: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Violet...ess_of_Rutland
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