Friday, February 29, 2008

Music Biography as Gossip column

My current reading on the train on the way to work contains the following footnotes:
  • Hon Alice Katherine Sibell Grosvenor, youngest daughter of 2nd Baron Ebury, m. Ivor Guest, 1st Viscount Wimbourne. She was William's constant companion in the last years of her life (p 4)
  • Wife of Sir Kenneth Clark, director of the National Gallery, later Lord Clark (p 32)
  • Daughter of the 2nd Marquess of Reading, nee Lady Joan Rufus Isaacs (p 34)
  • Wife of the 2nd Baron Aberconway, nee Christabel Mary Melville Macnaghton (p 34)
  • Viscount Moore, subsequently (1557) 11th Earl of Drogheda (p 35)
  • 5th Baronet (1892-1969), eldest son of Sir George Sewell (1860-1943), and brother of Sacheverall, later 6th Baronet, and of Edith (p 46)
  • 14th Baron Berners (1883-1950) (p 50)
  • See Andrew Motion, The Lamberts (1986) (p 51 - some mistake surely?)
  • Born 1901, daughter of Prince Alexander of Erbach-Schoenberg and his wife nee Princess Elizabeth of Waldeck and Pyrmount. Through her mother, Imma was a first cousin of HRH Princess Alice, Countess of Athlone, and of Queen Juliana of the Netherlands (p 73)
  • Lady Cunard, widow of Sir Bache Cunard, 3rd Baronet, and herself a noted society hostess (p 79)
  • Nee the Hon. Margaret Campbell Geddes (p 112)
  • Later Mrs Sweeny, and subsequently the third wife of the 11th Duke of Argyll (p 128)
  • 2nd Viscount Maugham, nephew of Somerset Maugham, and himself a successful author (p 152)
  • Marina (Mimosa) Parodi Delfino, youngest daughter of Senator Leopoldo Parodi Delfino, a leading Italian industrialist. She first married Francisco (Baby) Pignatari, Brazilian magnate and international playboy, and secondly Prince Fernando del Drago (p 165 - phew eventually get to the title)
  • A daughter of King Edward VIII's mistress, the Hon. Mrs George Keppel, and first wife of the Hon. Roland Cubitt, later 3rd Baron Ashcombe (p 178)
  • Lord Peyton of Yeovil, created Baron in 1983 (life peer); MP, Yeovil, 1951-83; POW Germany 1940-5 (p 185)
  • 3rd Viscount, born 1906 (p 196)
  • Lord Hunt of Fawley, created Baron in 1973 (life peer), CBE 1970, MA, DM, Oxon, FRCP, FRCS, FRCGP, President, Royal College of Gen. Practitioners 1967-70, Hon Fellow Green College Oxford, since 1980 (p 210)
  • Lord Goodman of the City of Westminster, created Baron in 1965 (life peer), CH 1972, MA, LLM (p 212)
  • Wife of Sir Eric Penn, Comptroller, Lord Chamberlain's Office, nee Prudence Stewart-Wilson (p 230 - apparently no title but the job description does contain the word 'Lord')

That's all the footnotes - none missing! I think the subject of the biography and probably the author are obvious but will blog a little more when I've completed the last few pages.
I attempted this book around 10 years and was ready to fling it at the wall after around 50 pages - this time, now that the bedside pile has got down to it, I've persisted!


Anonymous said...

Although those footnotes might read like gossip column they are history after all and they do explain what certain people were doing in WW's life (he was, as the French say "sensible aux titres" -from the Sitwell's on). Lady Walton, whether you like her or not, certainly has character and didn't set out to write an "official" biography.

George Mott

rajm said...

Thanks for the comment! I hope to address some of this when I've finished the book...