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This book is a group biography of six unusual women, who all made waves in their own way, who to lesser or greater degrees pushed the boundaries of society, who were all celebrities and were the subject of endless press attention - and who've all been largely forgotton today.  In a way the title does the book a disservice for it suggests that it's going to be full of the sort of sensationalist stories that fill the gutter press, and though several did lead distinctly rackety lives, even by the standards of those living nearly a hundred years later, what really stands out is the sheer strength of will that motivated all of them, even Diana Cooper, who as the daughter of a Duke and a potential bride for the Prince of Wales could have been expected to be content just to marry well and keep up the status quo, seized a freedom and independance that was simply not usual for women of her class.

 

It's entertainingly written with a nice light touch and is a wonderful insight into a gilded decade where it really did seem for a while that everything was changing.  Like the sixties.  And like the sixties, things were never quite the same afterwards.  A fascinating - and sometimes hair-raising - read about women who might not have have made much permanent difference in the end but are always interesting.

 

 

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