The Marlborough House set by Anita Leslie
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Anita Leslie quotes at length from the diaries of English poet and writer Wilfrid Scawen Blunt on the death of King Edward VII, and used the turn of phrase "pleasant little wickednesses" in reference to monarch who gave his name to the era, and about whom the major and minor personages in this book revolved, his sun to their planets and moons. The phrase could have been the title of the book. She knows her stuff -- her grandmother was Leonie Jerome Leslie, one of the Gilded Age American heiresses who shot into the British aristocracy of the later Victorian era; her great-aunt was Winston Churchill's mother Jennie, who may (or may not) have had an affair with the King (Anita thinks not, as the King wasn't really Jennie's type). I wasn't enamored of the whole book; it reads almost like listening to scandalous but quiet talk at a dinner party given by someone's grandmother. Not my grandmother, mind you. But someone's rich, aristocrat grandmother. Still, some fascinating stories here, Edwardian legend crossed with soap opera.
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