The Riviera Set
Through the story of an elegant art deco villa, the Château de l’Horizon, its owners and guests, Lovell evokes the glamorous lifestyle of the rich and famous on the French Riviera between the 1920s and 1960. Starting with the American actress and society hostess Maxine Elliott, who had the architect Barry Dierks build the house in 1932, the book describes a who’s who of high society, up to the death of Prince Aly Khan, the villa’s owner from 1947 to 1960.
The Mitford Girls
The Biography of an Extraordinary Family
The six daughters of the eccentric Lord Redesdale and his wife Sydney have inspired many books, but this group biography is widely considered to be the finest. It skilfully weaves together the dramatic, often outrageous lives of the sisters: the novelist Nancy; Diana, who married Oswald Mosley; Decca, the communist; the lesbian horsewoman Pamela; the socialite Deborah; and Unity, the doomed admirer of Adolf Hitler.
Bess of Hardwick
First Lady of Chatsworth, 1527–1608
Elizabeth Talbot, Countess of Shrewsbury (1527–1608) struck some as rapacious and social-climbing, but is nowadays seen as an astonishingly shrewd and accomplished woman who successfully managed four husbands and four monarchs in a particularly complex and dangerous era. Mary Lovell's biography charts every aspect of Bess's long life, including her time as minder of Mary, Queen of Scots for Elizabeth I and the building of Chatsworth, Hardwick and Oldcotes, which still stand as testimony of a remarkable Tudor figure.