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Last Curtsey By Fiona MacCarthy

Last Curtsey
by Fiona MacCarthy

In Stock
£2.99
Filtered through some of its colourful and eccentric inhabitants, from Lady Caroline Lamb in the eighteenth-century to Princess Diana in the twentieth, this work offers a portrait of Britain as both empire and the customs and certainties of the old order came to an end.
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Last Curtsey Summary


Last Curtsey: The End of the Debutantes by Fiona MacCarthy

'In 1958 - the year in which Krushchev came to power in Russia, the year after Eden's resignation over Suez, two years after John Osborne's "Look Back in Anger" - the last of the debutantes, myself among them, went to the Palace to curtsey to the Queen.' Fiona MacCarthy and her fellow 'debs' were taking part in one of the final rituals of aristocratic power. The system had been in operation almost unchanged since the eighteenth-century. It was a female rite of passage, an elaborate initiation ceremony marking the emergence of the virgin out of the schoolroom and into society at the marriageable age of seventeen. But that year, in 1958, it was drawing to a close. Under pressure to shine - not least from their mothers - the girls were somewhere between teenagers and clones of the Queen herself. Still the focus for newspaper diarists and society photographers, these young women participated in a party season stretching for months among the great houses of London and the Home Counties. Yet behind all the grandeur lay anxiety and making-do, as many families struggled to maintain the splendour of former times. Filtered through some of its most colourful and eccentric inhabitants, from Lady Caroline Lamb in the eighteenth-century to Princess Diana in the twentieth, "Last Curtsey" is a riveting portrait of Britain as both empire and the customs and certainties of the old order came to an end.

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About Fiona MacCarthy


With her widely acclaimed book Eric Gill, published in 1989, Fiona MacCarthy established herself as one of the leading writers of biography in Britain. This was followed by William Morris (1994), which won several literary awards including the Wolfson History Prize and was described by A.S. Byatt as 'one of the finest biographies ever published in this country.' Byron: Life and Legend (2002) was described as 'one of the great literary biographies of our time' by Mark Bostridge in the Independent on Sunday. Fiona MacCarthy writes regularly for the Guardian and lives in Derbyshire.

Additional information

GOR001120308
Last Curtsey: The End of the Debutantes by Fiona MacCarthy
Fiona MacCarthy
Used - Very Good
Hardback
Faber & Faber
2006-10-05
360
0571228593
9780571228591
N/A
Book picture is for illustrative purposes only, actual binding, cover or edition may vary.
This is a used book - there is no escaping the fact it has been read by someone else and it will show signs of wear and previous use. Overall we expect it to be in very good condition, but if you are not entirely satisfied please get in touch with us.