Society's Queen: The Life of Edith, Marchioness of Londonderry

Society's Queen: The Life of Edith, Marchioness of Londonderry

Paperback

By (author) Anne De Courcy

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  • Publisher: Phoenix (an Imprint of The Orion Publishing Group Ltd )
  • Format: Paperback | 416 pages
  • Dimensions: 128mm x 196mm x 28mm | 340g
  • Publication date: 3 June 2004
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 0753817306
  • ISBN 13: 9780753817308
  • Illustrations note: 16
  • Sales rank: 224,063

Product description

At the age of twenty-one, Edith Chaplin married one of the most eligible bachelors of the day, the eldest son of the sixth Marquess of Londonderry. Her husband served in the Ulster cabinet and was Air Minister in the National Government of 1934-5. Edith founded the Women's Legion during the First World War and was also an early campaigner for women's suffrage. She created the renowned Mount Stewart Gardens in County Down that are now owned by the National Trust. All her life, Edith remained at the heart of politics both in Westminster and Ireland. She is perhaps best known for her role as 'society's queen' - a hostess to the rich and famous. Her close circle of friends included Winston Churchill, Lady Astor, Neville Chamberlain and Harold Macmillan who congregated in her salon, known as 'The Ark'. Other members included artists and writers such as John Buchan, Sean O'Casey. Britain's first Labour prime minister, Ramsey MacDonald, became romantically obsessed by her.

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Author information

Anne de Courcy is a well-known writer and journalist. In the 1970s she was Woman's Editor on the London Evening News; in the 1980s she was a regular feature-writer for the Evening Standard; she joined the Daily Mail in 1992 where she has done interviews, historical features and book reviews, as well as editing a page on readers' dilemmas. She has written eight books, including a biography of Diana Mosley.

Editorial reviews

They were the Celebs of their day; aristocratic, rich and powerful: the Society Hostesses. Queen of them all was Edith Chaplin, descended from a Duke and a (rather grand) Country Squire and leading politician, she fell in love with, and married, Charley, heir to the sixth Marquess of Londonderry, with extensive estates in Northern Ireland. Partly through him, though largely on her own account, Edith exerted considerable authority, especially in the field of women's rights and freedoms. All her life her special friends were men - usually prominent in their own territory; and frequently they fell in love with her (Prime Minister Ramsey MacDonald became obsessed) but she loved Charley faithfully all her life, despite his own persistent, and blatant, infidelity. Born in the last years of Victoria's reign, she lived almost into the Swinging Sixties - a period which suited her perfectly. A marvellously entertaining account of the last glory days of the British Empire, and its aftermath. Highly recommended. (Kirkus UK)