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Mrs Keppel and Her Daughter

Diana Souhami

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Biography: historical, political & military, Prose: non-fiction, British & Irish history

Alice Keppel, lover of Queen Victoria's son Edward VII and great-grandmother of Camilla Parker-Bowles, was the acceptable face of Edwardian adultery. It was her art to be the King's mistress yet to laud the Royal Family and the institution of marriage. She partnered the King for yachting at Cowes and helped him choose presents for his wife Queen Alexandra while remaining calmly married to her complaisant husband George. But for her daughter Violet, passionately in love with Vita Sackville-West, romance proved tragic and destructive. Mrs Keppel used all the force at her command to repress the relationship.

This fascinating and intense mother-daughter relationship highlights Edwardian and contemporary duplicity and double standards. It goes to the heart of questions about the monarchy, family values and sexual freedoms.

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Diana Souhami

Diana Souhami is the author of many widely acclaimed books including Gertrude and Alice, described by John Richardson as 'a brilliant and witty chronicle of one of the happiest marriages in modern literary history'. She has also written plays for radio and television.

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