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Nancy: The Story of Lady Astor

Nancy: The Story of Lady Astor [Kindle Edition]

Adrian Fort
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)

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Product Description


"Fort's well researched biography is excellent." (Janet Christie Scotsman)

"Elegantly written and well-research biography. The fascinating life of Nancy Astor is evoked brilliantly in Fort's energetic narrative." (The Lady)

"Adrian Fort does justice to her energetic, forceful and outspoken personality." (Christopher Silvester Daily Express)

"This is a very lively read about a very lively personality (5 stars)." (

"A masterful and compassionate book, every bit as multi-facet as the extra-ordinary woman." (Country Life)

Book Description

The glamorous page-turning story of the incredible life of Nancy Astor, Britain's first female MP.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1471 KB
  • Print Length: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage Digital (11 Oct 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B009EQG7CG
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #118,385 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Nancy Astor was a pioneering politician - the first woman to sit in the House of Commons - and yet there has not been a biography of her published since the 1980s. Thank goodness therefore for this scholarly and long-overdue effort by Adrian Fort.

Nancy Astor was born in Virginia and the story does not really get going until she sets foot in England and marries the millionaire Waldorf Astor. At times I wished the book had the directness and acerbity of Astor herself, rather than the description and dutifulness of a conventional biography. However, for the most part, it does indeed possess the 'glorious, page-turning brio' proclaimed on the cover. The detail and research of the chapter covering the Astors' war years in Plymouth is particularly impressive, whilst remaining clear and flowing.

I hope the National Trust shop at Cliveden has stocked up with copies!
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nancy, my hero! 16 Nov 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Recently I chanced to catch a review of "NANCY, the story of Lady Astor" on BBC radio 4 and immediately dashed off an order on my Amazon account. A scholarly yet lively book I found it worth every penny: to me more, much more.
I was born in Plymouth and I'm now in my eighth decade. Nancy Astor was my childhood hero and she was the hero of war-torn Plymouth which suffered more concentrated Nazi bombing than any other British city, Coventry included.
Nancy and her husband Waldorf 2nd Viscount Astor were both American and both adored Plymouth, loving its people, its history and the swashbucklers that sailed out of Plymouth Sound. Adrian Fort, the book's author, recounts that on first sighting Plymouth Nancy said,"The moment I got there I had a strange feeling of coming home."
With her rhetoric and ceaseless energy she rallied the citizens of Plymouth with speeches that would have done Churchill proud -- yet she and Churchill maintained a respectful animosity,"Winston, if you were my husband I'd put arsenic in your tea!" "Nancy, if you were my wife I'd drink it!"
Adrian Fort delivers the message that while she was fiery her husband was a pleasant, nicest-person-in-the-world sort. I remember my grandfather being pleased and awed to tell the family that he had had a long chat with Lord Astor on a Plymouth tram. Several times when he was Lord Mayor of Plymouth he was the guest of honour at speech days at my excellent school - Sutton High - axed in the slaughter of grammar schools
I must have been eight or nine when I met Nancy, or properly speaking she met me - see my blog, "What Nancy said to me," on [...]
NANCY, the story of Lady Astor is as gripping as any page-turning whodunnit.I was enthralled, many thanks Adrian Fort for your book. It tugged my heart strings and stirred almost forgotten memories - but in truth it's a jolly good read for anybody and I've got to give it 5 stars.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nancy: The Story of Lady Astor 27 Feb 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is a fascinating story of a lady who was born in Virginia and who became the first woman MP in England. Her parents were very affected by the American Civil War and she was born into poverty, although from a well established family. Eventually, her father had a change in fortune, but sadly for Nancy their improved status and wealth did not change his ideas on female education. He did not approve of bookworms or too much education for women, which she always resented. Limited in what she could achieve as a young woman, Nancy embarked on a disastrous first marriage. However, she later made a much more successful marriage with the supportive and wealthy Waldorf Astor, who accepted her son and with whom she made a new life in England.

Indeed, it was a life at the very centre of the current events of the day - with Waldorf embarked on a political career and Nancy as a prominent hostess. This book looks at the ups and downs of Nancy's career in politics - her success as the only woman MP, her visit to Russia and meeting with Stalin, the furore caused by the 'Cliveden Set' and, of course, her personal life. Nancy Astor was a woman who knew her own mind, and who spoke it forcefully. Sometimes she upset othes with her strong views, but she was always loyal to her beliefs and, despite being criticised for advocating appeasement before the Second World War, she worked tirelessly for the people of her constituency during the war years. This is a very interesting biography, with Nancy Astor involved in politics during a time of great upheaval socially and politically, which I greatly enjoyed.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful book about an extraordinary woman 28 Feb 2013
By nigeyb
What a wonderful book. I came to this book with only scant knowledge of Nancy aka Lady Astor. The main source of my knowledge was a book I'd read by her loyal maid Rosina Harrison called "Gentlemen's Gentlemen: My Friends in Service" and which focussed on British butlers and which extensively featured Edwin Lee who was Lady Astor's head butler for most of her life in England. From that book all I had gleaned was that she was an American, who had relocated to England, and become an aristocratic woman of power and social significance.

Her story is so interesting and compelling, and her personality so powerful, that the book is a real page-turner. Adrain Fort appears to be in thrall to Nancy, and with good reason. Born in 1879, her earliest years were mired in economic uncertainty before her father finally managed to come good and provide significant wealth and prosperity to his family. From there she married into one of the world's richest families, and became the first female MP to enter the British Parliament after winning the tough and economically deprived constituency of Plymouth where she became a local legend. This biography provides an excellent historical context to her life whilst never losing focus on its core subject. She lived through extraordinary times: the aftermath of the US Civil War, two world wars, the depression, female emancipation, and massive social change. Her energy and charisma shine through every chapter and yet the writer remains clear eyed about her many mistakes and personality flaws too. A book about an extraordinary woman that does full justice to its subject. At the end of the book I felt genuinely sad to have finished her story which inevitably concludes with the end of her remarkable life.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent read
I bought this latest book on Lady Astor by Adrian Fort recently and found it an excellent read. Anyone interested in this period of history in Britain will not be disappointed by... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Flissa
5.0 out of 5 stars Comprehensive and well written, as well as fascinating
My mother was in service with Nancy Astor in Plymouth for a short time in the 1930s and I was born there, so had a vague idea of Nancy Astor's significance to the city. Read more
Published 5 months ago by John 'Skyline'
5.0 out of 5 stars Quite a woman! An informative book.
Excellent condition and an enjoyable read. I know something of her life but this book fills in the gaps. Another 'must read' book if you like history.
Published 6 months ago by Gail Tildesley
5.0 out of 5 stars Nancy: the story of Nancy Astor
Bought it for our book club
Brilliant read
Very informative historically but written in an easy style unlike some historical reads
Published 6 months ago by Ms Christine Frame
4.0 out of 5 stars Biography
Learnt much more of Nancy Astor's early life before she became an M.P. What a campaigning family for those less fortunate!
Published 7 months ago by Anne Mark
5.0 out of 5 stars Nancy Astor
A remarkable turn around in her family's fortunes enabled her to become a great socialite in England and our first woman M.P. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Mrs J H Hosford
4.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating lady
A really interesting isight into Nancy's character rather than a political biography. Sometimes the book rambles but nevertheless the thread is held together and tells a... Read more
Published 9 months ago by Monty
4.0 out of 5 stars The story of an underconfident idealistic woman, who changed the lives...
Mainly modern political history, but very informative and interestingly told Quite a lot of information contained, taking considerable time to read. I would award it 41/2 stars
Published 10 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars ENGAGING BIOGRAPHY
Published 18 months ago by BARRY HORTON
4.0 out of 5 stars The Snapdragon Inside the Rose
After a slow and slightly ponderous start this book really gets into its own by end of World War I. In 1919 Lady Astor is elected first woman member of parliament and during the... Read more
Published 19 months ago by J. Nichols
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