Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
Mrs. Keppel and Her Daughter

Mrs. Keppel and Her Daughter

A Biography

Diana Souhami

St. Martin's Griffin


Trade Paperback

Alice Keppel, the married lover of Queen Victoria's eldest son and great-grandmother to Camilla Parker-Bowles, was a key figure in Edwardian society. Hers was the acceptable face of adultery. Discretion was her hallmark. It was her art to be the king's mistress and yet to laud the Royal Family and the institution of marriage. Formidable and manipulative, her attentions to the king brought her wealth, power, and status. Her daughter Violet Trefusis had a long tempestuous affair with the author and aristocrat Vita Sackville-West, during which Vita left her husband and two sons to travel abroad with Violet. It was a liaison that threatened the fabric of Violet's social world, and her passion and recalcitrance in pursuit of it pitted her against her mother and society. From memoirs, diaries, and letters, Diana Souhami portrays this fascinating and intense mother/daughter relationship. Her story of these women, their lovers, and their lovers' mothers, highlights Edwardian - and contemporary - duplicity and double standards and goes to the heart of questions about sexual freedoms.


Praise for Mrs. Keppel and Her Daughter

“Lavishly illustrated, pungent with luxurious detail and hardheaded investigation, this is popular history to relish.” —Publishers Weekly

“Vivid and fast-paced, Souhami's story is wonderfully readable--a must for those caught up in the drama now playing itself out among the descendants of King Edward and his machiavellian mistress.” —People

“An electrifying study of Mrs. Keppel--famously King Edward VII's mistress--and of her daughter Violet Trefusis--notoriously Vita Sackville-West's lover.... This dark and Gothic tale of passion and cruelty, of an indomitable mother and a frail daughter, is the more shocking for its imperturbable, elegant settings--Biarritz, London drawing rooms, Florentine villas, and English country houses.” —Daily Telegraph (London)

Reviews from Goodreads

About the author

Diana Souhami

Diana Souhami is the author of Gluck, Gertude and Alice, Greta and Cecil, and The Trials of Radclyffe Hall. She lives in London.

Diana Souhami

Vera Janev

From the Publisher

St. Martin's Griffin

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