Society's Queen

Paperback / ISBN-13: 9781474625173

Price: £10.99

ON SALE: 5th May 2022

Genre: Biography & True Stories / Biography: General

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From the author of the critically acclaimed THE VICEROY’S DAUGHTERS, the story of a glittering aristocrat who was also at the heart of political society in the interwar years.

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.


De Courcy's biography re-creates a world of glittering house parties, aristocratic immorality and political intrigue in a narrative that reads like a racy novel
This thoroughly enjoyable account is written with a light touch and an eye for the ridiculous, yet also succeeds in creating a genuine sense of unease and impending gloom
This is more than a skilled biography. It is also a glittering picture of politics and high society between the wars
The great Lady Londonderry of this century deserved a biography, and Anne de Courcy has done her proud
Anne de Courcy's fascinating biography charts over eighty years of this charismatic character's life
A brilliant biography of one of the most remarkable and influential women of this century
A shrewdly but affectionate and touching portrait of the last great political hostess
Many important issues, such as women's suffrage, are tackled in Anne de Courcy's book, which is a fascinating piece of social history