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Black Diamonds

Author : Catherine Bailey
ISBN : 9780698182950
Genre : History
File Size : 72.66 MB
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From the New York Times–bestselling author of The Secret Rooms, the extraordinary true story of the downfall of one of England’s wealthiest families Fans of Downton Abbey now have a go-to resource for fascinating, real-life stories of the spectacular lives led by England’s aristocrats. With the novelistic flair and knack for historical detail Catherine Bailey displayed in her New York Times bestseller The Secret Rooms, Black Diamonds provides a page-turning chronicle of the Fitzwilliam coal-mining dynasty and their breathtaking Wentworth estate, the largest private home in England. When the sixth Earl Fitzwilliam died in 1902, he left behind the second largest estate in twentieth-century England, valued at more than £3 billion of today’s money—a lifeline to the tens of thousands of people who worked either in the family’s coal mines or on their expansive estate. The earl also left behind four sons, and the family line seemed assured. But was it? As Bailey retraces the Fitzwilliam family history, she uncovers a legacy riddled with bitter feuds, scandals (including Peter Fitzwilliam’s ill-fated affair with American heiress Kick Kennedy), and civil unrest as the conflict between the coal industry and its miners came to a head. Once again, Bailey has written an irresistible and brilliant narrative history.
Category: History

Splendour Squalor

Author : Marcus Scriven
ISBN : 9781848874855
Genre : History
File Size : 26.71 MB
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From stately homes and prisons to the House of Lords and Edwardian asylums—the stories, spanning the 20th century, of the disintegrating fortunes of three of Britain’s most illustrious aristocratic dynasties and the scapegraces responsibleSplendour & Squalor traces the disintegration of three aristocratic dynasties through the twentieth century: families who seemingly had everything yet decided to take 'the down-escalator of life.' They include the Montagus, Dukes of Manchester, who had once employed Vanburgh—creator of Blenheim Palace, Churchill's birthplace—to remodel their principal family seat, Kimbolton Castle; shortly before the outbreak of World War II, the Montagus oversaw further renovation—converting the Kimbolton chapel into a bar, and stocking it with glasses decorated with 'pornography of the most interesting kind,' for the benefit of guests like the restless, bisexual Duke of Kent, younger brother of George VI. Four consecutive generations of the family went to jail. The Herveys, Marquesses of Bristol, went inside too, although John Bristol (7th Marquess of Bristol, born 1954; died 1999) spent most of his time investing his inheritance in helicopters, heroin, and—for strictly recreational purposes—handcuffs: a blazing quest for self-gratification which led him into the company of Andy Warhol and Mick Jagger. Splendour & Squalor offers a riveting insight into the disintegration of a once seemingly impregnable elite. The resultant portrait is the authentic Downton Abbey—stripped of gloss, mythology and sentiment, and brought mercilessly up-to-date.
Category: History

The Secret Rooms

Author : Catherine Bailey
ISBN : 9781101636749
Genre : Biography & Autobiography
File Size : 69.42 MB
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For fans of Downton Abbey, this New York Times bestseller is the enthralling true story of family secrets and aristocratic intrigue in the days before WWI After the Ninth Duke of Rutland, one of the wealthiest men in Britain, died alone in a cramped room in the servants’ quarters of Belvoir Castle on April 21, 1940, his son and heir ordered the room, which contained the Rutland family archives, sealed. Sixty years later, Catherine Bailey became the first historian given access. What she discovered was a mystery: The Duke had painstakingly erased three periods of his life from all family records—but why? As Bailey uncovers the answers, she also provides an intimate portrait of the very top of British society in the turbulent days leading up to World War I.
Category: Biography & Autobiography

The Long Weekend

Author : Adrian Tinniswood
ISBN : 9780465098651
Genre : History
File Size : 74.49 MB
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From an acclaimed social and architectural historian, the tumultuous, scandalous, glitzy, and glamourous history of English country houses and high society during the interwar period
Category: History

Archie And Amelie

Author : Donna M. Lucey
ISBN : 0307345831
Genre : Biography & Autobiography
File Size : 52.59 MB
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Filled with glamour, mystery, and madness, Archie and Amélie is the true story chronicling a tumultuous love affair in the Gilded Age. John Armstrong "Archie" Chanler was an heir to the Astor fortune, an eccentric, dashing, and handsome millionaire. Amélie Rives, Southern belle and the goddaughter of Robert E. Lee, was a daring author, a stunning temptress, and a woman ahead of her time. Archie and Amélie seemed made for each other—both were passionate, intense, and driven by emotion—but the very things that brought them together would soon tear them apart. Their marriage began with a “secret” wedding that found its way onto the front page of the New York Times, to the dismay of Archie’s relatives and Amélie’s many gentleman friends. To the world, the couple appeared charmed, rich, and famous; they moved in social circles that included Oscar Wilde, Teddy Roosevelt, and Stanford White. But although their love was undeniable, they tormented each other, and their private life was troubled from the start. They were the F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald of their day—a celebrated couple too dramatic and unconventional to last—but their tumultuous story has largely been forgotten. Now, Donna M. Lucey vividly brings to life these extraordinary lovers and their sweeping, tragic romance. “In the Virginia hunt country just outside of Charlottesville, where I live, the older people still tell stories of a strange couple who died some two generations ago. The stories involve ghosts, the mysterious burning of a church, a murder at a millionaire’s house, a sensational lunacy trial, and a beautiful, scantily clad young woman prowling her gardens at night as if she were searching for something or someone—or trying to walk off the effects of the morphine that was deranging her. I was inclined to dismiss all of this as tall tales Virginians love to spin out; but when I looked into these yarns I found proof that they were true. . . .” —Donna M. Lucey on Archie and Amélie
Category: Biography & Autobiography

Them And Us

Author : Charles Jennings
ISBN : 0750943564
Genre : Americans
File Size : 76.66 MB
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Between 1880 and 1939 the two great forces of the western world collided. Them and Us is the story of that social upheaval. It is a tale of how the United States sold its heiresses into ennobled slavery at the turn of the century, found the tables turned around the time of the First World War, and ended up subjugating smart society to the "Almighty Dollar" in the 1930s. It is about prejudice, fear, bitchiness, arrivistes, fine architecture, low life, ostentation and sheer incomprehension. It is about the Old World's dread of the power of New America and the New World's longing for the historical status of the Old. - Jacket flap.
Category: Americans

Daughter Of Empire

Author : Pamela Hicks
ISBN : 9781476733838
Genre : Biography & Autobiography
File Size : 81.6 MB
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“Lady Pamela Hicks’s joyously entertaining new memoir, arguably the poshest book that ever has or will be written” (Newsweek), is a privileged glimpse into the lives and loves of some of the twentieth century’s leading figures. Pamela Mountbatten entered a remarkable family when she was born in Madrid at the very end of the “Roaring Twenties.” Daughter of the glamorous heiress Edwina Ashley and Lord Louis Mountbatten, Pamela spent much of her early life with her sister, nannies, and servants—not to mention a menagerie of animals that included, at different times, a honey bear, chameleons, a bush baby, and a mongoose. Her parents’ vast social circle included royalty, film stars, celebrities, and politicians. Noel Coward invited Pamela to watch him film, and Douglas Fairbanks Jr. dropped in for tea. However when war broke out Pamela and her sister were sent to New York to live with Mrs. Cornelius Vanderbilt, while the prime minister appointed her father to be the last Viceroy of India. Amid the turmoil, Pamela came of age, meeting the student leaders who had been released from jail, working in the canteen for Allied forces and in a clinic outside Delhi. She also developed a close bond with Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru. “If you are addicted to Downton Abbey, chances are that you will relish Daughter of Empire, a British aristocrat’s memoir of her childhood and coming of age…She is also a keen observer of a way of life now vanished, except on PBS” (The Wall Street Journal). “Not many people remain who can tell stories like Lady Pamela Hicks” (Vanity Fair).
Category: Biography & Autobiography

The Decline And Fall Of The British Aristocracy

Author : David Cannadine
ISBN : 0141023139
Genre : Aristocracy (Social class)
File Size : 62.10 MB
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At the outset of the 1870s, the British aristocracy could rightly consider themselves the most fortunate people on earth: they held the lion's share of land, wealth and power in the world's greatest empire. By the end of the 1930s they had lost not only a generation of sons in the First World War, but also much of their prosperity, prestige and political significance.David Cannadine shows how this shift came about and how it was reinforced in the aftermath of the Second World War. Lucidly written and sparkling with wit, The Decline and Fall of the British Aristocracy is a landmark study that dramatically changes our understanding of British social history
Category: Aristocracy (Social class)

Kathleen Kennedy

Author : Lynne McTaggart
ISBN : UOM:39015008738877
Genre : History
File Size : 61.33 MB
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A profile of "Kick" Kennedy details her debut, marriage to aristocrat William Hartington, tragic deaths of her brother and husband, romance with the married Earl Fitzwilliam, and their deaths, in 1948, in a plane crash
Category: History


Author : Anne Edwards
ISBN : 9781442236561
Genre : Biography & Autobiography
File Size : 51.49 MB
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The life of Princess May of Teck is one of the great Cinderella stories in history. From a family of impoverished nobility, she was chosen by Queen Victoria as the bride for her eldest grandson, the scandalous Duke of Clarence, heir to the throne, who died mysteriously before their marriage. Despite this setback, she became queen, mother of two kings, grandmother of the current queen, and a lasting symbol of the majesty of the British throne. Her pivotal role in the abdication of her eldest son, the Duke of Windsor, is just one of the events that provide the backdrop for both thrilling biography and for narrating the splendors and tragedies of the entire house of Windsor.
Category: Biography & Autobiography