Ettie : The Intimate Life And Dauntless Spirit Of Lady Desborough

3.45 (20 ratings by Goodreads)
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The life of Lady Desborough - beautiful heiress, aristocratic hostess, unfaithful wife, tragic mother, Edwardian icon.Born in 1867 and orphaned at three, Ettie Fane was brought up by a beloved grandmother and then two adoring, almost incestuous, bachelor uncles. At twenty she married Willy Grenfell, later Lord Desborough. Beautiful, rich, charming and clever, Ettie soon became a leading hostess at the two magnificent country houses she had inherited. Leading politicians, writers and artists were very much part of her circle.But there was a dark side too, as this book will reveal. Ettie could be manipulative and cruel. Her eldest son Julian, after a nervous breakdown at Oxford, rejected her world and values. Nemesis and tragedy were not far away. In 1915 Julian died of war wounds. Six weeks later her second son Billy was killed in action. Her youngest son Ivo would be killed shortly after the war. But despite intense private misery, she reacted with outward courage and self-mastery. Grief revealed the greatness of her spirit. In the 1920s and 1930s she continued to collect new types, especially gifted young men, relishing people of all ages up to her death in 1952, a redoutable survivor from a vanished more

Product details

  • Paperback | 464 pages
  • 134.62 x 208.28 x 35.56mm | 566.99g
  • Orion Publishing Co
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0753825953
  • 9780753825952
  • 780,880

Review quote

Ettie emerges as a curiosity to be marvelled at - which she probably would have liked -- Kate McLoughlin * TIMES LITERARY SUPPLEMENT * The first biography of her shows how deeply her joyful bearing was touched by fear of inherited depression. * OBSERVER * A window on the world of the aristocracy at a pivotal time in history. * DAILY EXPRESS * Crystalline prose and unsentimental partisanship distinguish this biography * SUNDAY TELEGRAPH *show more

About Richard Davenport-Hines

Richard Davenport-Hines was born in 1953. A Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and the Royal Historical Society, he is a past winner of the WOLFSON PRIZE for History and Biography. He has most recently edited Hugh Trevor-Roper's LETTERS FROM OXFORD for publication in July 2006. He lives in more

Review Text

Crystalline prose and unsentimental partisanship distinguish this biography SUNDAY TELEGRAPHshow more

Rating details

20 ratings
3.45 out of 5 stars
5 15% (3)
4 40% (8)
3 20% (4)
2 25% (5)
1 0% (0)
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