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Daughters of Britannia
Daughters of Britannia: The Lives and Times of Diplomatic Wives | Katie Hickman
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In an absorbing mixture of poignant biography and wonderfully entertaining social history, Daughters of Britannia offers the story of diplomatic life as it has never been told before. Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, Vita Sackville-West, and Lady Diana Cooper are among the well-known wives of diplomats who represented Britain in the far-flung corners of the globe. Yet, despite serving such crucial roles, the vast majority of these women are entirely unknown to history. Drawing on letters, private journals, and memoirs, as well as contemporary oral history, Katie Hickman explores not only the public pomp and glamour of diplomatic life but also the most intimate, private face of this most fascinating and mysterious world. Touching on the lives of nearly 100 diplomatic wives (as well as sisters and daughters), Daughters of Britannia is a brilliant and compelling account of more than three centuries of British diplomacy as seen through the eyes of some of its most intrepid but least heralded participants.
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Amazing. By turns hilarious, heart-wrenching, jaw-dropping. There are also times I was outraged at what was expected of these women. Great use of primary sources. The chapter ‘Dangers‘ including the murder of the ambassador to Ireland was especially un-putdownable, when the author used her mother‘s diaries (she was the wife of another diplomat who worked with him). Only quibble is I‘d prefer the few quotes in French to have been translated.