The Mistresses of Cliveden: Three Centuries of Scandal, Power and Intrigue in an English Stately Home

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9780091954529: The Mistresses of Cliveden: Three Centuries of Scandal, Power and Intrigue in an English Stately Home

Built in the reign of Charles II by the Duke of Buckingham, Cliveden was conceived as an enclave for hunting and hedonism, a luxurious retreat in which the duke could conduct his scandalous affair with the ambitious courtesan, Anna-Maria countess of Shrewsbury. During its twilight in the 1960s as much as its dawn in the 1660s, Cliveden was an emblem of elite misbehaviour and intrigue: some three hundred years after Buckingham realised his vision, the house once again served as the stage for a scandal, the Profumo Affair, which would bring down a government and change the course of British history.

In the three hundred years between the Countess and Keeler, the house was occupied by a dynasty of remarkable women: Elizabeth Villiers, an intellectual who brokered the rise and fall of governments; Augusta of Saxe-Gotha, a minor German royal who almost became queen of England; Harriet Duchess of Sutherland, the glittering society hostess turned political campaigner; and Nancy Astor, the consummate controversialist who became the first woman to take a seat in parliament. Under the direction of these women, Cliveden provided a stage for political plots and artistic premieres, hosted grieving monarchs and republican radicals, was idealised as a family home, and maligned as a threat to national security.

The Mistresses of Cliveden is the story of five women, and a biography of the house in which they lived. It is by turns a historical epic, a political thriller, a family drama, and an intimate history of the relationships between people and place. Above all, it is a story about sex and power, and the ways in which exceptional women have evaded, exploited, and confronted the expectations of their times.

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During the reign of Charles II Cliveden was built by the Duke of Buckingham as a luxurious retreat in which the duke could conduct his scandalous affair with the ambitious courtesan, Anna-Maria Countess of Shrewsbury. During its twilight in the 1960s as much as its dawn in the 1660s, Cliveden was an emblem of elite misbehaviour and intrigue: some three hundred years after Buckingham realised his vision, the house once again served as the stage for a scandal, the Profumo Affair, which would bring down a government and change the course of British history.

After Anna-Maria the house was occupied by a dynasty of remarkable women: Elizabeth Villiers, an intellectual who brokered the rise and fall of governments; Augusta of Saxe-Gotha, a minor German royal who almost became queen of England; Harriet Duchess of Sutherland, the glittering society hostess turned political campaigner; and Nancy Astor, the consummate controversialist who became the first woman to take a seat in parliament. Under the direction of these women, Cliveden provided a stage for political plots and artistic premieres, hosted grieving monarchs and republican radicals, was idealised as a family home, and maligned as a threat to national security.

The Mistresses of Cliveden is by turns a historical epic, a political thriller, a family drama, and an intimate history of the relationships between people and place. Above all, it is a story about sex and power, and the ways in which exceptional women have evaded, exploited, and confronted the expectations of their times.

Review:

"Natalie Livingstone has written an utterly fascinating and completely beguiling account of three centuries of high living, high politics, and high drama at one of Britain's most famous stately homes. A page turner from start to finish, The Mistresses of Cliveden perfectly illustrates why social history rules the shelves; it's history with all the good stuff left in." (Amanda Foreman, author of GEORGIANA, DUCHESS OF DEVONSHIRE)

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Book Description Cornerstone, United Kingdom, 2015. Hardback. Book Condition: New. 242 x 167 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. This is a Sunday Times best-seller, The Mistresses of Cliveden is the extraordinary story of how five women used their home to influence British society. From its dawn in the 1660s to its twilight in the 1960s, Cliveden was an emblem of elite misbehaviour and intrigue. Conceived by the Duke of Buckingham as a retreat for his scandalous affair with Anna-Maria, Countess of Shrewsbury, the house later served as the backdrop for the Profumo Affair, which would bring down a government and change the course of British history. In the three hundred years between the Countess and Christine Keeler, the house was occupied by a dynasty of remarkable women: Elizabeth Villiers, an intellectual who brokered the rise and fall of governments; Augusta of Saxe-Gotha, a minor German royal who almost became queen of England; Harriet Duchess of Sutherland, the glittering society hostess turned political campaigner; and Nancy Astor, the consummate controversialist who became the first woman to take a seat in parliament. Under the direction of these women, Cliveden provided a stage for political plots and artistic premieres, hosted grieving monarchs and republican radicals, was idealised as a family home, and maligned as a threat to national security. The Mistresses of Cliveden is by turns a historical epic, a political thriller, a family drama, and an intimate history of the relationships between people and place. Above all, it is a story about sex and power, and the ways in which exceptional women have evaded, exploited, and confronted the expectations of their times. Bookseller Inventory # AAZ9780091954529

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Book Description Cornerstone. Hardback. Book Condition: new. BRAND NEW, The Mistresses of Cliveden: Three Centuries of Scandal, Power and Intrigue in an English Stately Home, Natalie Livingstone, This is a Sunday Times best-seller, The Mistresses of Cliveden is the extraordinary story of how five women used their home to influence British society. From its dawn in the 1660s to its twilight in the 1960s, Cliveden was an emblem of elite misbehaviour and intrigue. Conceived by the Duke of Buckingham as a retreat for his scandalous affair with Anna-Maria, Countess of Shrewsbury, the house later served as the backdrop for the Profumo Affair, which would bring down a government and change the course of British history. In the three hundred years between the Countess and Christine Keeler, the house was occupied by a dynasty of remarkable women: Elizabeth Villiers, an intellectual who brokered the rise and fall of governments; Augusta of Saxe-Gotha, a minor German royal who almost became queen of England; Harriet Duchess of Sutherland, the glittering society hostess turned political campaigner; and Nancy Astor, the consummate controversialist who became the first woman to take a seat in parliament. Under the direction of these women, Cliveden provided a stage for political plots and artistic premieres, hosted grieving monarchs and republican radicals, was idealised as a family home, and maligned as a threat to national security. The Mistresses of Cliveden is by turns a historical epic, a political thriller, a family drama, and an intimate history of the relationships between people and place. Above all, it is a story about sex and power, and the ways in which exceptional women have evaded, exploited, and confronted the expectations of their times. Bookseller Inventory # B9780091954529

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Book Description Cornerstone, United Kingdom, 2015. Hardback. Book Condition: New. 242 x 167 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. This is a Sunday Times best-seller, The Mistresses of Cliveden is the extraordinary story of how five women used their home to influence British society. From its dawn in the 1660s to its twilight in the 1960s, Cliveden was an emblem of elite misbehaviour and intrigue. Conceived by the Duke of Buckingham as a retreat for his scandalous affair with Anna-Maria, Countess of Shrewsbury, the house later served as the backdrop for the Profumo Affair, which would bring down a government and change the course of British history. In the three hundred years between the Countess and Christine Keeler, the house was occupied by a dynasty of remarkable women: Elizabeth Villiers, an intellectual who brokered the rise and fall of governments; Augusta of Saxe-Gotha, a minor German royal who almost became queen of England; Harriet Duchess of Sutherland, the glittering society hostess turned political campaigner; and Nancy Astor, the consummate controversialist who became the first woman to take a seat in parliament. Under the direction of these women, Cliveden provided a stage for political plots and artistic premieres, hosted grieving monarchs and republican radicals, was idealised as a family home, and maligned as a threat to national security. The Mistresses of Cliveden is by turns a historical epic, a political thriller, a family drama, and an intimate history of the relationships between people and place. Above all, it is a story about sex and power, and the ways in which exceptional women have evaded, exploited, and confronted the expectations of their times. Bookseller Inventory # AAZ9780091954529

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Book Description Hardback. Book Condition: New. Not Signed; This is a Sunday Times best-seller, The Mistresses of Cliveden is the extraordinary story of how five women used their home to influence British society. From its dawn in the 1660s to its twilight in the 1960s, Cliveden was an emblem of elite misbehaviour and intrigue. Conceived by the Duke of Bucki. book. Bookseller Inventory # ria9780091954529_rkm

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Book Description Hutchinson, 2015. Book Condition: New. Conceived by the Duke of Buckingham as a retreat for his scandalous affair with Anna-Maria, Countess of Shrewsbury, the house later served as the backdrop for the Profumo Affair, which would bring down a government and change the course of British history. This book offers a history of the relationships between people and place. Num Pages: 512 pages. BIC Classification: 1DBKE; 3J; BGH; BK; HBJD1; HBLL. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 169 x 243 x 50. Weight in Grams: 1132. . 2015. Hardcover. . . . . . Bookseller Inventory # V9780091954529

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Book Description Hutchinson 2015-07-02, 2015. Book Condition: New. Brand new book, sourced directly from publisher. Dispatch time is 24-48 hours from our warehouse. Book will be sent in robust, secure packaging to ensure it reaches you securely. Bookseller Inventory # NU-LBR-01653754

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