The New Countess by Fay Weldon
The year is 1905 and King Edward VII has invited himself and his mistress to a shooting weekend with the Dilbernes. Now Isobel, the Countess, must turn a run-down mansion into a palace fit for a king. Just as well the family fortunes have been restored, but money can't solve everything... not even a kidnapping.
The servants refuse to condone the King's morals; Isobel's daughter, Lady Rosina - now widowed and wealthy - insists on publishing a scandalous book, and the mis-spent pasts of Viscount Arthur and his Irish-American wife Minnie rear up to blacken the family name. When fate deals a hand in the middle of the shooting party, Isobel must consider not only her leading position in Society, but her entire future.
Fay Weldon brings an aristocratic Edwardian household to fabulous, vibrant life in this gorgeously witty tale of manners and morals, commoners and countesses, from one of Britain's best loved authors.