GRACE AND FAVOUR by Duchess of Westminster Loelia

GRACE AND FAVOUR

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KIRKUS REVIEW

This close to royalty monogrammed memoir of an ""Edwardian Poor Little Rich Girl"" (as introduced by Noel Coward) reviews the early years and marriage of Loelia Ponsonby to the Duke of Westminster, with only a short reprise of the last half of her life. From a long and august lineage, her immediate parentage- a handsome father and a graceful, tasteful mother- did not contribute however to a happy childhood. She and her brother Gaspard were subjected to a succession of loathesome governesses and a later fashionable schooling. But she made her debut after World War I and along with the excess of the '20's, there was the 30-30-30 female figure, the extravagance of fashion and the emancipation of her life in general. Waugh and Michael Arlen, Noel Coward and Cecil Beaton joined in her circle of ""Bright Young People"". Then she met and married the Duke with his ""dangerous"" charm, his unsteady past, his benevolence, ruthlessness and snobbery. For five years her ""fairy tale"" marriage survived his terrible jealousy, then failed, and the last chapter concludes the quieter decades to follow which she lived alone.... All in all, we learn much more about the Duke than the Duchess, but she gives a social butterfly-eye's view of the period. While it does not have quite the substance or personal lustre of Lady Diana Cooper's books it is for that audience.

Pub Date: April 11th, 1962
Publisher: Morrow-Reynal