The Mistresses of Cliveden
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|Author||: Natalie Livingstone|
|Editor||: Ballantine Books|
For fans of Downton Abbey comes an immersive historical epic about a lavish English manor and a dynasty of rich and powerful women who ruled the estate over three centuries of misbehavior, scandal, intrigue, and passion. Five miles from Windsor Castle, home of the royal family, sits the Cliveden estate. Overlooking the Thames, the mansion is flanked by two wings and surrounded by lavish gardens. Throughout its storied history, Cliveden has been a setting for misbehavior, intrigue, and passion—from its salacious, deadly beginnings in the seventeenth century to the 1960s Profumo Affair, the sex scandal that toppled the British government. Now, in this immersive chronicle, the manor’s current mistress, Natalie Livingstone, opens the doors to this prominent house and lets the walls do the talking. Built during the reign of Charles II by the Duke of Buckingham, Cliveden attracted notoriety as a luxurious retreat in which the duke could conduct his scandalous affair with the ambitious courtesan Anna Maria, Countess of Shrewsbury. In 1668, Anna Maria’s cuckolded husband, the Earl of Shrewsbury, challenged Buckingham to a duel. Buckingham killed Shrewsbury and claimed Anna Maria as his prize, making her the first mistress of Cliveden. Through the centuries, other enigmatic and indomitable women would assume stewardship over the estate, including Elizabeth, Countess of Orkney and illicit lover of William III, who became one of England’s wealthiest women; Augusta of Saxe-Gotha, the queen that Britain was promised and then denied; Harriet, Duchess of Sutherland, confidante of Queen Victoria and a glittering society hostess turned political activist; and the American-born Nancy Astor, the first female member of Parliament, who described herself as an “ardent feminist” and welcomed controversy. Though their privileges were extraordinary, in Livingstone’s hands, their struggles and sacrifices are universal. Cliveden weathered renovation and restoration, world conflicts and cold wars, societal shifts and technological advances. Rich in historical and architectural detail, The Mistresses of Cliveden is a tale of sex and power, and of the exceptional women who evaded, exploited, and confronted the expectations of their times. Praise for The Mistresses of Cliveden “Theatrical festivities, political jockeying and court intrigues are deftly described with a verve and attention to domestic comforts that show the author at her best. . . . [Livingstone’s] portraits of strenuous and assertive women who resisted subjection, sometimes deploying their sexual allure to succeed, on other occasions drawing on their husband’s wealth, are astute, spirited, and empathetic.”—The Wall Street Journal “Missing Downton Abbey already? This tome promises ‘three centuries of scandal, power, and intrigue’ and Natalie Livingstone definitely delivers.”—Good Housekeeping “Lively . . . The current chatelaine—the author herself—deserves no small credit for keeping the house’s legend alive. . . . Any of her action-filled chapters would merit a mini-series.”—The New York Times Book Review “Though the personal tales and tidbits are fascinating, and the sensational details of these women’s lives will intrigue Downton Abbey devotees, the real star of the story is Cliveden.”—Booklist “Lovers of modern English history and the scandals that infiltrated upper-crust society will find much to enjoy in this work.”—Library Journal
|Author||: Natalie Livingstone|
|Editor||: Random House|
'It covers three centuries of high living, high politics and high drama [...] it is so fascinating' MEL SYKES _____________________________ A Sunday Times bestseller Five women. One house. One extraordinary history. Even today, Cliveden retains its royal mystique - it is where Meghan Markle and her mother spent the night before the royal wedding - but from its construction in the 1660s to its heyday in the 1960s, Cliveden has played host to a dynasty of remarkable and powerful women. Anna Maria, Elizabeth, Augusta, Harriet, and Nancy were five ladies who, over the course of three centuries, shaped British society through their beauty, personalities, and political influence. Restoration and revolution, aristocratic rise and fall, world war and cold war form the extraordinary backdrop against which their stories unfold. An addictive history of the period and an intimate exploration of the timeless relationships between people and place, The Mistresses of Cliveden is a story of sex, power and politics, and the ways in which exceptional women defy the expectations of their time.
|Author||: Natalie Livingstone|
|Editor||: St. Martin's Press|
In The Women of Rothschild, Natalie Livingstone reveals the role of women in shaping the legacy of the famous Rothschild dynasty, synonymous with wealth and power. From the East End of London to the Eastern seaboard of the United States, from Spitalfields to Scottish castles, from Bletchley Park to Buchenwald, and from the Vatican to Palestine, Natalie Livingstone follows the extraordinary lives of the Rothschild women from the dawn of the nineteenth century to the early years of the twenty-first. As Jews in a Christian society and women in a deeply patriarchal family, they were outsiders. Excluded from the family bank, they forged their own distinct dynasty of daughters and nieces, mothers and aunts. They became influential hostesses and talented diplomats, choreographing electoral campaigns, advising prime ministers, advocating for social reform, and trading on the stock exchange. Misfits and conformists, conservatives and idealists, performers and introverts, they mixed with everyone from Queen Victoria to Chaim Weizmann, Rossini to Isaiah Berlin, and the Duke of Wellington to Alec Guinness, as well as with amphetamine-dealers, suffragists and avant-garde artists. Rothschild women helped bring down ghetto walls in early nineteenth-century Frankfurt, inspired some of the most remarkable cultural movements of the Victorian period, and in the mid-twentieth century burst into America, where they patronized Thelonious Monk and drag-raced through Manhattan with Miles Davis. Absorbing and compulsive, The Women of Rothschild gives voice to the complicated, privileged, and gifted women whose vision and tenacity shaped history.
|Author||: Heather Webb,Hazel Gaynor,Beatriz Williams,Jennifer Robson,Jessica Brockmole,Kate Kerrigan,Evangeline Holland,Lauren Willig,Marci Jefferson|
Top voices in historical fiction deliver an unforgettable collection of short stories set in the aftermath of World War I—featuring bestselling authors such as Hazel Gaynor, Jennifer Robson, Beatriz Williams, and Lauren Willig and edited by Heather Webb. On the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month... November 11, 1918. After four long, dark years of fighting, the Great War ends at last, and the world is forever changed. For soldiers, loved ones, and survivors the years ahead stretch with new promise, even as their hearts are marked by all those who have been lost. As families come back together, lovers reunite, and strangers take solace in each other, everyone has a story to tell. In this moving anthology, nine authors share stories of love, strength, and renewal as hope takes root in a fall of poppies. Featuring: Jessica Brockmole Hazel Gaynor Evangeline Holland Marci Jefferson Kate Kerrigan Jennifer Robson Beatriz Williams Lauren Willig Heather Webb
|Author||: Adrian Tinniswood|
|Editor||: Basic Books|
From an acclaimed social and architectural historian, the tumultuous, scandalous, glitzy, and glamorous history of English country houses and high society during the interwar period As WWI drew to a close, change reverberated through the halls of England's country homes. As the sun set slowly on the British Empire, the shadows lengthened on the lawns of a thousand stately homes. In The Long Weekend, historian Adrian Tinniswood introduces us to the tumultuous, scandalous and glamorous history of English country houses during the years between World Wars. As estate taxes and other challenges forced many of these venerable houses onto the market, new sectors of British and American society were seduced by the dream of owning a home in the English countryside. Drawing on thousands of memoirs, letters, and diaries, as well as the eye-witness testimonies of belted earls and bibulous butlers, Tinniswood brings the stately homes of England to life as never before, opening the door to a world by turns opulent and ordinary, noble and vicious, and forever wrapped in myth. We are drawn into the intrigues of legendary families such as the Astors, the Churchills and the Devonshires as they hosted hunting parties and balls that attracted the likes of Charlie Chaplin, T.E. Lawrence, and royals such as Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson. We waltz through aristocratic soiré, and watch as the upper crust struggle to fend off rising taxes and underbred outsiders, property speculators and poultry farmers. We gain insight into the guilt and the gingerbread, and see how the image of the country house was carefully protected by its occupants above and below stairs. Through the glitz of estate parties, the social tensions between old money and new, the hunting parties, illicit trysts, and grand feasts, Tinniswood offers a glimpse behind the veil of these great estates -- and reveals a reality much more riveting than the dream.
|Author||: Norman Rose|
|Editor||: Random House|
Lloyd George once spoke of 'a very powerful combination - in its way the most powerful in the country'. Its proceedings were invariably conducted at Cliveden, the country estate of the fabulously wealthy Nancy and Waldorf Astor. Collectively dubbed 'God's Truth Ltd', the group included leading politicians, academics, writers and newspaper editors. Its pedigree impeccable, its social standing beyond reproach, its persuasive powers permeated the clubs and institutions of London, the senior common rooms of Oxbridge colleges, the quality press and the great country houses of England. Suddenly, in the late 1930s, the 'Cliveden Set' was catapulted into uncalled-for notoriety. It had been identified as a cabal that sought to manipulate, even determine, British foreign policy in order to uphold its narrow class interests. It would use any means, however devious - even negotiate a humiliating, dishonourable settlement with Nazi Germany - to maintain its privileges, those of a decaying ruling class. But was the 'Cliveden Set' a traitorous cabal, challenging 'the constitutional structures of British democracy', or simply an unstructured think-tank of harmless do-gooders? Norman Rose discerningly probes this fascinating tale, brilliantly disentangling fact from fiction, and setting this privileged clique in the wider perspective of its times.
|Author||: Catherine Ostler|
|Editor||: Simon and Schuster|
Discover the adventurous life of the stylish and scandalous Elizabeth Chudleigh, Duchess of Kingston—a woman whose infamous trial was bigger news in British society than the American War of Independence. “Bridgerton fans take note: For sheer incident and drama, Chudleigh’s story rivals any episode of the popular Regency-era Netflix series. And it’s all true” (The Washington Post). As maid of honor to the Princess of Wales, Elizabeth Chudleigh enjoyed a luxurious life in the inner circle of the Hanoverian court. With her extraordinary style and engaging wit, she both delighted and scandalized the press and public. She would later even inspire William Thackeray when he was writing his classic Vanity Fair, providing the inspiration for the alluring social climber Becky Sharp. But Elizabeth’s real story is more complex and surprising than anything out of fiction. A clandestine, candlelit wedding to the young heir to an earldom, a second marriage to a duke, a lust for diamonds, and an electrifying appearance at a masquerade ball in a gossamer dress—it’s no wonder that Elizabeth’s eventual trial was a sensation. Charged with bigamy, an accusation she vehemently fought against, Elizabeth refused to submit to public humiliation and retire quietly. “A superb, gripping, decadent, colorful biography that brings an extraordinary woman and a whole world blazingly to life” (Simon Sebag Montefiore, New York Times bestselling author), The Duchess Countess is perfect for fans of Bridgerton, Women of Means, and The Crown.
|Author||: Anna Whitelock|
An engrossing, unadulterated biography of “Bloody Mary”—elder daughter of Henry VIII, Catholic zealot, and England’s first reigning Queen Mary Tudor was the first woman to inherit the throne of England. Reigning through one of Britain’s stormiest eras, she earned the nickname “Bloody Mary” for her violent religious persecutions. She was born a princess, the daughter of Henry VIII and the Spanish Katherine of Aragon. Yet in the wake of Henry’s break with Rome, Mary, a devout Catholic, was declared illegitimate and was disinherited. She refused to accept her new status or to recognize Henry’s new wife, Anne Boleyn, as queen. She faced imprisonment and even death. Mary successfully fought to reclaim her rightful place in the Tudor line, but her coronation would not end her struggles. She flouted fierce opposition in marrying Philip of Spain, sought to restore England to the Catholic faith, and burned hundreds of dissenters at the stake. But beneath her hard exterior was a woman whose private traumas of phantom pregnancies, debilitating illnesses, and unrequited love played out in the public glare of the fickle court. Though often overshadowed by her long-reigning sister, Elizabeth I, Mary Tudor was a complex figure of immense courage, determination, and humanity—and a political pioneer who proved that a woman could rule with all the power of her male predecessors.
|Author||: Kathleen Lindley|
|Editor||: Big Earth Publishing|
When Kathleen Lindley showed up at one of Mark Rashid's horsemanship clinics, she told him that she didn?t know who he was and didn?t really care, as long as he could fix her horse. In the course of working with him and learning about his way of training horses, not only was Kathleen's horse ?fixed, ? her life was changed. This book documents her time spent with Mark Rashid and the deeper appreciation and knowledge she gained for horses and life while there.
|Author||: Peter Tyler|
|Editor||: Bloomsbury Publishing|
One of the most striking features of contemporary psychology is the return of language of the 'soul' in contemporary discourse. In this original analysis Dr Peter Tyler investigates the origins and use of 'soul-language' in the Christian tradition before turning his attention to the evolution and preoccupations of modern psychoanalysis. In his forensic examination he explores the dynamics of psychoanalysis as a 'tool to rediscover the soul' of the 21st century seeker. Central to his book is the perceived clash between analysis and the spiritual tradition. His uncompromising conclusion is that the dialogue of the two in our present time will have far-reaching repercussions for church, society and future human well-being. Read more about his work on http://insoulpursuit.blogspot.co.uk
|Author||: Richard Davenport-Hines|
|Editor||: HarperCollins UK|
WINNER OF THE POLITICAL BOOK AWARDS POLITICAL HISTORY BOOK OF THE YEAR 2014. Published to coincide with the fiftieth anniversary of the Profumo scandal, An English Affair is a sharp-focused snapshot of a nation on the brink of social revolution.
|Author||: Julia Woodlands Baird|
An account of the life of the English monarch offers insight into the passionate and sensuous aspects of her character, placing her reign against a backdrop of dynamic world events while sharing insights into her relationship with Albert and her pivotal role in building the British empire.
|Author||: David Bret|
Dubbed the British Marilyn Monroe' or the British Bridget Bardot', Diana Dors finally proclaimed I'd rather be known as the hurricane in mink'. The actress was best known for her lavish lifestyle; she was a blonde bombshell with a penchant for flashy cars, opulent mansions, glitzy garb and jet-setting living. Diana Dors' rise to fame started with being a GI favourite during the war. However, she was keen to ditch her goody-goody image and announced that she wanted to be like Errol Flynn. It worked she became a huge star, working with the likes of Joan Crawford and famously starred in Yield to the Night, the movie that contributed to the abolition of the death penalty. But despite the glamour, her affairs, sex parties and OTT lifestyle, including an illicit affair with Rod Steiger left her branded as a scarlet woman, unwanted by the Studios. Undeterred, the indomitable Dors simply worked tirelessly to establish for herself a successful career in cabaret. Her life was didn't always smell of roses: her first husband cheated on her, stole from her, beat her and finally died of syphilis. Another lover who she considered faithful two-timed her with Rock Hudson. She finally found love with husband number three, who killed himself 5 months after her death. This is the amazing story of an actress who loved life and lived it to the full, told with compassion and vigour.
|Author||: Kate Williams|
|Editor||: Random House|
Our perception of Victoria the Queen is coloured by portraits of her older, widowed self - her dour expression embodying the repressive morality propagated in her time. But Becoming Queen reveals an energetic and vibrant woman, determined to battle for power. It also documents the Byzantine machinations behind Victoria's quest to occupy the throne, and shows how her struggles did not end when finally the crown was placed on her head. Laying bare the passions that swirled around the throne in the eighteenth century, Becoming Queen is an absorbingly dramatic tale of secrets, sexual repression and endless conflict. After her lauded biography of Emma Hamilton, England's Mistress, Kate Williams has produced a most original and intimate portrait of Great Britain's longest reigning monarch.
|Author||: Adrian Fort|
|Editor||: St. Martin's Press|
A new biography of Nancy Astor, American socialite and social crusader who blazed a trail through British society amid two World Wars In 1919, Nancy Astor became the first female Member of Parliament elected to the House of Commons—she was not what had been expected. Far from a virago who had suffered for the cause of female suffrage, Lady Astor was already near the center of the ruling society that had for so long resisted the political upheavals of the early twentieth century, having married into one of the richest families in the world. She wasn't even British, but the daughter of a famous Virginian family, and fiercely proud of her expatriate ancestry. But her moral drive was strong, and she would utilize her position of privilege and influence to blow a bracing American wind into what she regarded as the stuffy corners of British politics. This account charts Nancy Astor's incredible story, from relative penury in the American South to a world of enormous countryside estates and townhouses, and the most lavish entertainments, peopled by the great figures of the day—Churchill, Chamberlain, FDR, Charlie Chapin, J. M. Barrie, and Lawrence of Arabia were all part of her social circle. But hers was not to be an easy life of power and pure glamour; it was also defined by principles and bravery, war and sacrifice, love, and the most embittered disputes. With glorious, page-turning brio, Adrian Fort brings to life this restless, controversial American dynamo, an unforgettable woman who left a deep and lasting imprint on the political life of a nation.
|Author||: Karen Abbott|
|Editor||: Random House Trade Paperbacks|
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER America was flying high in the Roaring Twenties. Then, almost overnight, the Great Depression brought it crashing down. When the dust settled, people were primed for a star who could distract them from reality. Enter Gypsy Rose Lee, a strutting, bawdy, erudite stripper who possessed a gift for delivering exactly what America needed. With her superb narrative skills and eye for detail, Karen Abbott brings to life an era of ambition, glamour, struggle, and survival. Using exclusive interviews and never-before-published material, she vividly delves into Gypsy’s world, including her intense triangle relationship with her sister, actress June Havoc, and their formidable mother, Rose, a petite but ferocious woman who literally killed to get her daughters on the stage. Weaving in the compelling saga of the Minskys—four scrappy brothers from New York City who would pave the way for Gypsy Rose Lee’s brand of burlesque and transform the entertainment landscape—Karen Abbott creates a rich account of a legend whose sensational tale of tragedy and triumph embodies the American Dream.
|Author||: Justin Kaplan|
In this marvelous anecdotal history, Justin Kaplan––Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer of Mark Twain––vividly brings to life a glittering, bygone age. Endowed with the largest private fortunes of their day, cousins John Jacob Astor IV and William Waldorf Astor vied for primacy in New York society, producing the grandest hotels ever seen in a marriage of ostentation and efficiency that transformed American social behavior. Kaplan exposes it all in exquisite detail, taking readers from the 1890s to the Roaring Twenties in a combination of biography, history, architectural appreciation, and pure reading pleasure
|Author||: Kate Williams|
|Editor||: McClelland & Stewart|
From CNN’s official royal historian, a highly praised young author with a doctorate from Oxford University, comes the extraordinary rags-to-riches story of the woman who conquered Napoleon’s heart—and with it, an empire. Their love was legendary, their ambition flagrant and unashamed. Napoleon Bonaparte and his wife, Josephine, came to power during one of the most turbulent periods in the history of France. The story of the Corsican soldier’s incredible rise has been well documented. Now, in this spellbinding, luminous account, Kate Williams draws back the curtain on the woman who beguiled him: her humble origins, her exorbitant appetites, and the tragic turn of events that led to her undoing. Born Marie-Josèphe-Rose de Tascher de La Pagerie on the Caribbean island of Martinique, the woman Napoleon would later call Josephine was the ultimate survivor. She endured a loveless marriage to a French aristocrat—executed during the Reign of Terror—then barely escaped the guillotine blade herself. Her near-death experience only fueled Josephine’s ambition and heightened her determination to find a man who could finance and sustain her. Though no classic beauty, she quickly developed a reputation as one of the most desirable women on the continent. In 1795, she met Napoleon. The attraction was mutual, immediate, and intense. Theirs was an often-tumultuous union, roiled by their pursuit of other lovers but intensely focused on power and success. Josephine was Napoleon’s perfect consort and the object of national fascination. Together they conquered Europe. Their extravagance was unprecedented, even by the standards of Versailles. But she could not produce an heir. Sexual obsession brought them together, but cold biological truth tore them apart. Gripping in its immediacy, captivating in its detail, Ambition and Desire is a true tale of desire, heartbreak, and revolutionary turmoil, engagingly written by one of England’s most praised young historians. Kate Williams’s searing portrait of this alluring and complex woman will finally elevate Josephine Bonaparte to the historical prominence she deserves.
|Author||: Helen Fremont|
“Fascinating . . . A tragic saga, but at the same time it often reads like a thriller filled with acts of extraordinary courage, descriptions of dangerous journeys and a series of secret identities.”—Chicago Tribune “To this day, I don't even know what my mother's real name is.” Helen Fremont was raised as a Roman Catholic. It wasn't until she was an adult, practicing law in Boston, that she discovered her parents were Jewish—Holocaust survivors living invented lives. Not even their names were their own. In this powerful memoir, Helen Fremont delves into the secrets that held her family in a bond of silence for more than four decades, recounting with heartbreaking clarity a remarkable tale of survival, as vivid as fiction but with the resonance of truth. Driven to uncover their roots, Fremont and her sister pieced together an astonishing story: of Siberian Gulags and Italian royalty, of concentration camps and buried lives. After Long Silence is about the devastating price of hiding the truth; about families; about the steps we take, foolish or wise, to protect ourselves and our loved ones. No one who reads this book can be unmoved, or fail to understand the seductive, damaging power of secrets. Praise for After Long Silence “Poignant . . . affecting . . . part detective story, part literary memoir, part imagined past.”—The New York Times Book Review “Riveting . . . painfully authentic . . . a poignant memoir, a labor of love for the parents she never really knew.”—The Boston Globe “Mesmerizing . . . Fremont has accomplished something that seems close to impossible. She has made a fresh and worthy contribution to the vast literature of the Holocaust.”—The Washington Post Book World