Bronwen Astor: Her Life and Times Paperback – 19 Feb 2001
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From the Back Cover
"This discerning study is no mere padding for a description of the most sensational political scandal of modern times. Every facet of the life of Lady Astor is examined with exemplary skill and sensitive shrewdness."
Gerard Noel, 'Catholic Herald'
"The life story of Bronwen, Viscountess Astor, shows that the hurt of Profumo goes very deep, all the more so because the affair exposed personal vulnerabilities that money, class and social status were supposed to conceal."
ROBERT MCRUM,' Observer'
When Bronwen Pugh married into the celebrated Astor clan in 1960, she seemed to have the world at her feet. As firstly a successful BBC television presenter, and then the most celebrated model of her generation, she became mistress of Cliveden, the Italianate mansion on the Thames which her mother-in-law, Nancy Astor, had made famous with her political salons. Yet within three years of her marriage Bronwen Astor's world was turned upside down by the Profumo scandal. Cliveden was alleged to be at the centre of an international web of sexual debauchery and espionage which ultimately brought down Prime Minister Harold Macmillan.
Bill Astor became a social and political pariah, dying in 1966 of a broken heart. In charting the private agony behind the public disgrace, peter Stanford has been granted unprecedented access to both Lady Astor and her papers. He shows how a profound Christian faith has richly sustained her during her hitherto long-held silence.
"Well written, conscientious and thorough."
SELINA HASTINGS, 'Times Literary Supplement'
"Illuminates an extraordinary woman and an extraordinary life."
JOHN GRAHAM, 'Tatler'
About the Author
Peter Stanford’s previous books include biographies of Lord Longford, Cardinal Basil Hume and the Devil. He has written an investigation of the Pope Joan legend and a polemical book, Catholics and Sex, which accompanied a Channel 4 television series. He contributes regularly to the Guardian and Sunday Telegraph and New Statesman. A regular broadcaster, he is also chairman of the national disability charity ASPIRE.
Top Customer Reviews
Peter Stanford's carefully crafted book gives us an insight into the life of Bronwen Astor, spanning almost seven decades. The name of Astor conjures up so many images including that of Nancy Astor, Bronwen's mother-in-law, who was the first woman to sit in Parliament, but the name is also associated in the mind of the nation with the Profumo Affair which after the court case in the early sixties was responsible for bringing down the Macmillan government of the day.
This book successfully focuses on the facts of the events which occurred at Cliveden in the sixties and manages to separate these facts from the fiction which has been portrayed in the various reports and dramatic presentations since the case. History has not been kind to Bill Astor, Bronwen's husband; this biography puts the record straight more than thirty years after his death.
However, there is another aspect to the book which is of equal importance. This is the story of one woman's faith-journey. We learn of her early spiritual experiences as a child and later during the years when she trained as a drama teacher, through the time when she modelled in the fashion world and became a T.V. announcer, thus becoming one of the faces of the era. She did not ignore what she recognised as a call from God. She discovered the true meaning of real unconditional love, something she bestowed on her husband, thus teaching him about it for the first time in his life.
When left a widow with two young daughters, she faced the challenge of being forced to leave Cliveden, always putting her trust in God.Read more ›
The first part dealing with Bronwens childhood and modeling career was I felt really quite boring.
The second part was the most interesting dealing with the Profumo affair and a wobbly government and establishment that didn't quite know which way to go, and of course the dreadful time Bill Astor was subjected to by the awful press.
The third part was an attempt at a religious conversion course for the reader. If this was reprinted into three books the only one I would buy would be number 2
There are also so many 'typo's in the Kindle version it almost became funny: for example the Beatles became the Beadles!!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Couldn't finish the book. So much about her husband Bill and Stephen Ward is nonsense. Good old trusty escape route to get religion and become a psychotherapist.Published 3 months ago by allen chamberlain
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