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.
In the 300 years between, the house was occupied by a dynasty of remarkable women each of whom left their mark on this great house.
©2016 Natalie Livingstone (P)2016 Oakhill Publishing
"Narratively enthralling...chronicled with scholarship, readability, wit and a fine eye for telling detail." (Andrew Roberts, Evening Standard)
"Her scholarship is considerable and yet she wears it lightly, producing a book which is always lively, entertaining and immensely readable." (Daily Express)
"Wide-ranging and deliciously enjoyable...." (Juliet Nicholson, The Telegraph)
"Meticulously researched." (Mail on Sunday)
"A fascinating journey through English social history, with Cliveden at its heart." (Country Life)
"Fluently written, the book interweaves [these] personal stories with historical snippets illuminating each era and glimpses of life at the pinnacle of society.... The broad sweep through 300 years of social change is packed with plenty of colourful details that capture the heady essence of Cliveden and the bold, spirited women who shared its history." (History Today)
I really enjoyed this but no I wouldn't listen to it again. I would read it though. The house itself has a wonderful history and it's fascinating to hear about it, but the narrator seems to be trying to turn it into some kind of drama - swooping and emoting all over the place. She treats it as if it were a work of fiction and it gets very, very annoying very, very quickly. I would far rather that she had simply read the book as a work of non-fiction. The story is dramatic enough without her trying to help.
Thoroughly entertaining and well researched narrative, which flows very smoothly, thanks to the melodious tones of the reader. I've read widely on the subject yet there was more to learn here. The book combines erudition and humour very cleverly and is clearly written from the heart.
A great listen!!!! If you like your history with more personal insight to its protagonists then this book is for you. An engaging and interesting listen
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