The Viceroy's Daughters

  • by Anne de Courcy
  • Narrated by Sara Coward
  • 17 hrs and 0 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

The three Curzon sisters - Irene, Cynthia (Cimmie) who married Sir Oswald Mosley, and Alexandra (Baba) - were at the heart of the fast and glittering world of the '20's and '30's. The sisters saw British fascism from behind the scenes and had an equally intimate view of the arrival of Wallis Simpson and the marriage and life of the Windsors. Based on unpublished letters and diaries, this is a wonderfully revealing portrait of British upper-class life during the first half of the 20th century.

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What the Critics Say

"Celebrity lovers will love this book, which covers all aspects of the lives of this elite group, it's wealth, manners (ill-bred and upper crust), lusts, and political intrigues" (Library Journal)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Part of the British Aristocracy Network

The three women who are the subjects of this book all played roles in the social and political history of their era. For example, Cynthia Mosley was married to Oswald (Tom) Mosley before her death after which he married Dianna Guinness (nee Mitford). All three women formed part of the closely interlinked and fairly small network of upper class society which shaped so much British social and political history, especially between the wars.

The aspect I enjoyed most was the uncovering of these fascinating links. I have read a lot about the Mitfords for example and in turn Mosley, but this book illuminates Cynthia's 'side' of the rather sordid story of her life with Mosley. Other insights include the Prince of Wales and his affair with Mrs Simpson; and the turbulent political scene in the UK in those years.

I think the book is very well written and appears to be a product of painstaking research. At times, it was a bit dull but this was largely when we were dealing with the childhood years. Sometimes, it felt as if lists were being read aloud as we hear the list of names attending such-and-such party. But overall, it gives a vivid impression of this era, for this class of person - and much of it is astonishingly immoral, louche and decadent. All three women at one time or another slept with Mosley, for example, albeit that Cynthia did so as his wife. The other sisters, especially Baba are at times just unbelievable.

There's a lot of self-pity from the women who never seemed especially happy despite their wealth and privilege. Not surprising perhaps given their bizarre and emotionally cruel father and the choices they all made regarding marriage. But I did want to them to stop whining sometimes. It goes to show, too, that no matter the wealth and position some people inherit, they are still often miserable!

The narrator is good. Sara Coward also plays Caroline in The Archers and I like her voice which seems to soften as you get to volume 2 - maybe she had a cold in the first volume. She can't do an Irish accent for toffee and there is a fair bit of this but it didn't really matter.
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- Alison

Rushed end

I enjoyed this greatly. It in fact I had read the book some years ago but I enjoyed listening to it again. I just felt the end years rather rushed and squashed in.
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- Mrs B.

Book Details

  • Release Date: 12-12-2008
  • Publisher: Oakhill Publishing Ltd