Looking for bios on these women
Posted by Lesley on August 16, 1998 at 02:03:37:
I read a book by Brian Masters called Great Hostesses that I found in the bibliography of a book that I read. It includes Emerald Cunard, Sybil Colefax, Laura Corrigan, Maggie (Mrs. Ronnie) Greville and Ettie, Lady Desborough. These women were all society hostesses before and after WWI in Britain, ending their careers by WWII.
Emerald was married to Sir Bache Cunard of the shipping line and worked very hard to get London a new opera house, I beleive. She was also very good friends with George Moore, an (Irish?) writer.
Sybil Colefax founded an interior decorating firm and was a big celebrity hunter and the poorest of the hostesses.
Laura Corrigan was married to Jimmy Corrigan, who inherited a big oil company based out of Cleveland, Ohio. She was an American who moved to the UK, like Emerald. She was extremely eccentric yet kind and loved to wear wigs. Her friends called her wig cases "Laura's wigwam!" ;-)
Maggie Greville inherited a fortune from her father who had a brewery. She owned Poledon Lacey (sp?), where the Queen Mum spent her honeymoon. She could be very nasty and one person said they would rather have an open sewer in their drawing room than Maggie Greville.
Lady Desborough was a member of "The Souls" and hung out with the PM of that time, I think Ramsey McDonald. Her son was Julian Grenfell who wrote the poem, "Into Battle."
I am looking for biographies or books written about these women like Master's. I have found some bios on Emerald, but they usually include her daughter also, in whom I am not very interested. Does anyone know of any? I am not asking anyone to do a book search for me. I've looked at about four websites already and I am planning on looking in Books in Print at the library. But there may be books that are out of print that you all may know about.
The reason I am interested in them is that they made names and a career of sorts for themselves when it was not really the thing for women to do so.
I am also looking for a bio of Mabell, Countess of Airlie who was a lady in waiting to Queen Mary, Queen Elizabeth II's grandmother. She was instrumental in founding the Red Cross in Scotland. She wrote an autobiography called, "Thatched With Gold" that is very good. Her husband, an army officer, was killed in the Boer War. Before he was killed, he was very active in reforming the army for enlisted men.
- I've some information..... Lisa M 12:50:52 8/16/98 (0)
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