NANCY: THE STORY OF LADY ASTOR – Buy it here
In 1919, Nancy Astor became the first woman to be elected to Parliament.
She was not what had been expected – or rather, in some quarters, feared. Far from a virago who had suffered for the cause of female suffrage, Nancy Astor was already near the centre of the ruling society that had for so long resisted the political upheavals of the early twentieth century, having married into the family of one of the richest men in the world. She was not even British, coming from a famous Virginian family, and fiercely proud of her expatriate ancestry. But her moral drive was strong, and she would utilise her position of extraordinary privilege and influence to blow a bracing American wind into what she saw as the stuffy corners of British life and politics. She would prove to be a trailblazer and beacon for the generations of women who would follow her into Parliament.
This new biography charts Nancy Astor’s incredible story, from penury in the American South, to a lifestyle of the most immense riches, from the luxury of Edwardian England,through the ‘Jazz Age’, and on towards the Second World War: a world of great country estates, lavish town houses and the most sumptuous entertainments. Her world was peopled by many of the great figures of the day – Churchill, Chamberlain, Roosevelt, J. M. Barrie and Lawrence of Arabia were all part of her social circle. But hers was not only the life of power, glamour and easy charm: it was also defined by principles and bravery, by war and sacrifice, by love and bitter disputes.
With glorious, page-turning brio, Adrian Fort has brought to life this restless, controversial American dynamo, an unforgettable woman who left a deep and lasting imprint on the political life of our nation.
PUBLISHER: Jonathan Cape (Random House)
PUBLICATION DATE: 18th October 2012