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The subtitle for this book is "Six Brilliant and Extraordinary Society Hostesses Between the Wars – A Spectacle of Celebrity, Talent, and Burning Ambition" and sounded like it was going to be a very good read, especially as it got glowing reviews from pubications such as the Guardian who are not prone to liking stories about high society and out and out snobs.


It should have been fascinating and parts were, Sian Evans obviously knows her stuff, she's written other books of the same period but sadly it's an utter mess. It reads as if she's written a fairly competant first draft and has never gone back to revise it so there are a lot of repetitions and darting about from one of her hostesses to the other, often in following paragraphs so you loose track of who is doing what. She's also infuriatingly inconsistant in what she calls people - for instance the Duchess of York is sometimes the Duchess of York, other times she's just referred to as "Elizabeth", "Clemmie" appears on the page with no explanation that she was in fact Winston Churchill's wife and Sibyl Colefax is sometimes Lady Colefax, sometimes Lady Sibyl (which she wasn't).


Such a shame, a good editor would have made all the difference.

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