Top positive review
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Authoritative biography of pioneering politician
on 6 November 2012
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!