The Mistresses of Cliveden

  • by Natalie Livingstone
  • Narrated by Carole Boyd
  • 15 hrs and 35 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

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.

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What the Critics Say

"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)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Much More Than A Book About A House

The thing I liked best about this book was the way that you hear all about the historical setting to each part of the 'story'. Each Mistress who lived in Cliveden is set in the context of the history to that era - social, economic and especially political history. It really did bring the story to life - and so of course, an awful lot of the book does not happen at Cliveden and often had nothing to do with the house, which was not what I was expecting but it worked so well.

I was far more gripped by the more recent eras of the house - the last one was really Nancy Astor and this was by far the most interesting to me. I thought I admired her (first female MP etc) but it turns out she was a fascinating but rather nasty piece of work with ingrained antisemitic views, among other unpleasant things!

The narration was excellent. Just familiar enough, as if you are being confided in, not over-acted by the brilliant C Boyd (Linda Snell, The Archers).
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- Alison

Very slow and ponderous.

This is very boring. The narrator very irritating. I would like to return it,
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- BPLH

Book Details

  • Release Date: 06-04-2016
  • Publisher: Oakhill Publishing