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Daisy: The life and loves of the Countess of Warwick: The Lives and Loves of the Countess of Warwick Paperback – 7 May 2009

4.5 out of 5 stars 20 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Piatkus (7 May 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0749909773
  • ISBN-13: 978-0749909772
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 2.5 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 121,890 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

DAISY slips down as cleanly as a strawberry milkshake ... Sushila Anand has paced the life perfectly (DAILY EXPRESS)

A lively study of a woman whose life straddled the tremendous changes seen during the reigns of three monarchs (DAILY MAIL)

This new biography draws on unpublished correspondance and paints a vivid portrait of this tempestuous and magnetic woman (GOOD BOOK GUIDE)

This biography draws on much of Daisy's personal correspondence and family papers to reveal her amazing life (DAILY EXPRESS)

Book Description

The tempestuous life of the notorious Countess of Warwick, mistress of Edward VII

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Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

By Neutral VINE VOICE on 10 Aug. 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Daisy Maynard, Countess of Warwick, was the original Essex girl. Married at 18 to Lord Brooke, heir to the Earl of Warwick, she lost little time in involving herself in a number of passionate affairs which led to at least three of her children being fathered by men other than her husband. For almost a decade she was the acknowledged lover of the Prince of Wales (later Edward the Seventh), heading the Marlborough House circle which reflected the Prince's own tastes of "shooting, racing and sex". Anyone who thought the Profumo scandal of the 1960's was an aberration clearly has no appreciation of the dissolute nature of the British ruling classes throughout history.

Extra-marital sex was commonplace and such affairs were tolerated provided they were conducted discretely. Daisy went too far when she told Lady Beresford that she intended to elope with her husband, the father of at least one of her children, possibly more. The hapless Beresford was hauled off by his wife and ended the relationship. Daisy was not deterred and wrote a vicious letter to Lady Beresford which the Prince of Wales in person sought to have returned. Beresford asserted himself responding to the Prince's comments by calling the heir to the throne "a blackguard" - the nineteenth century equivalent of Kenneth Tynan using a four letter word on television.

The intervention of the Prince was no accident as Daisy had become his lover too. She also fell for Joe Laycock to whom she showed a devotion which betrayed her lack of judgment about men. Her letters to Laycock can be regarded as the stuff of fiction but were all too real in a society which condemned females for having surrendered to male seduction while writing off the latter as following their natural instincts. Men were men and women were sluts.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is a really good read, Daisy was the original WAG, although an heiress in her own right, she used her looks and charm to get what she wanted, married a man with a title for love and who remained by her side her whole life even though she had 2 children by another man, a ten year love affair with Edward , Prince of Wales, and then fell in love with another man who by todays standards would be called a player , she had 2 children by him and remained infatuated by him all her life all thought he spurned her. This was a great insight to life in Edwardian Britain how the rich lived ,the parties the affairs the intrigue. She was an puzzle this woman as she became a socialist and would go to the meetings and really put her money where her mouth was, when trying to help the working classes, starting an agriculture school and understanding that education was the key to a better life, and was instrumental in starting the idea of free school meals as this was sometimes the only food that children from poor families would have all day. Yet at the same time she thought nothing of throwing lavish parties and staying in first class hotels while travellling around preaching the socialist dogma ! In her old age she became the patron of several animal charities.She was friends with several famous writers and politicians,and was supposed to have been very intelligent . This book is like a whos who of the 80's and 90's and interesting as a insight into social history as you see the working class changing and the war clouds of the Boer war.She was a very interesting character i was unsure if i liked her or not, as at the same time as all her good works she seemed selfish and very self centred.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a very readable book. Daisy,Countess of Warwick was a person born to great wealth and privilege. In her early to middle life she was a hedonist. Her main interests were entertainment and love affairs. Her greatest object of passion was a man called Laycock. Apart from his obviously justifying the second syllable of his name, he comes over as pretty uninteresting. His name appears in Wikipedia as a 'Brigadier General' and if you hadn't read this book you'd have no idea he was such a lascivious chap.
After running through lots of money, sleeping with the Prince of Wales, and trying the patience of her saintly husband, Daisy gradually turned to socialist politics. She had an empathy with the poor and with animals, and with these interests and her enormous glamour and charm, she comes over as an Edwardian Princess Diana.
As age crept on she became more and more of a socialist. All that got in her way was the inevitable inverted snobbery.
When she was not off her head with sexual passion, which made her very unpleasant, she was a very bright, good person. I'm sad that the author of this excellent book has succumbed to cancer.
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Format: Hardcover
This book was a most delightful read. Not only describes the author a comprehensive and vivid picture of the late Victorian and Edwardian times - up to the death of this fascinating creature, she also depicts the picture of a society lady immersed in secret love affairs, one being the Prince of Wales another one with a real cad who broke her heart. She was not all superficial and glamorous, she had a quick mind and a need to help the less fortunate. She kept company with most of the intellectual elite of her time, she gave vast and beautiful dinners, weekends etc. but she also installed schools and was deeply involved in the early Socialist Party in England. And after all, she was a fascinating woman. Her love affair with Joe Laycock nearly killed her and yet she never really got over him. That makes this beautiful, rich and gifted woman so human and so sympathetic. I also thoroughly enjoyed this book and I was sad to find out, that the author Sushila Anand died shortly before this book was published - what a loss.
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