Queen Bees looks at the lives of six remarkable women who made careers out of being society hostesses, including Lady Astor, who went on to become the first female MP, and Mrs Greville, who cultivated relationships with Edward VII, as well as Lady Londonderry, Lady Cunard, Laura Corrigan and Lady Colefax. Told with wit, verve and heart, Queen Bees is the story of a form of societal revolution and the extraordinary women who helped it happen. In the aftermath of the First World War, the previously strict hierarchies of the British class system were weakened. For a number of ambitious, spirited women, this was the chance they needed to slip through the cracks and take their place at the top of society as the great hostesses of the time. In an age when the place of women was uncertain, becoming a hostess was not a chore but a career choice, and though some of the hostesses´ backgrounds were surprisingly humble, their aspirations were anything but. During the interwar years, these extraordinary women ruled over London society from their dining tables and salons - entertaining everyone from the Mosleys to the Mitfords, from millionaires to maharajas, from film stars to royalty - and their influence can still be felt today. 1. Language: English. Narrator: Carole Boyd. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/hodd/001013/bk_hodd_001013_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.
When you wish upon a star... ...your dreams come true? They did, at any rate, for Florinda Quenby, though not in the way she had planned. When she flew out to Hollywood to become a movie star, she could not imagine the terrible struggles ahead of her, from riches back to rags. Fame and wealth finally came from an entirely different quarter - her fantastical soup factory in Harlem, modelled on the Taj Mahal. Florinda became one of New York´s grandest hostesses and one of the America´s most beloved celebrities. Her legendary Christmas parties in her huge, gold-lined apartment overlooking Central Park were an unmissable part of Manhattan´s social calendar. The parties grew wilder and wilder every year, until she decided to throw one final party - to top all the others.... This is a tale of ambition and wealth and fame and vanity. This is Florinda´s incredible story. 1. Language: English. Narrator: Matthew Waterhouse. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/acx0/020752/bk_acx0_020752_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.
This is the incredible rise and unbelievable fall of a woman whose energy and ambition is often overshadowed by Napoleon’s military might. In this triumphant biography, Kate Williams tells Josephine’s searing story, of sexual obsession, politics and surviving as a woman in a man’s world. Abandoned in Paris by her aristocratic husband, Josephine´s future did not look promising. But while her friends and contemporaries were sent to the guillotine during the Terror that followed the Revolution, she survived prison and emerged as the doyenne of a wildly debauched party scene, surprising everybody when she encouraged the advances of a short, marginalised Corsican soldier, six years her junior.Josephine, the fabulous hostess and skilled diplomat, was the perfect consort to the ambitious but obnoxious Napoleon. With her by his side, he became the greatest man in Europe, the Supreme Emperor; and she amassed a jewellery box with more diamonds than Marie Antoinette’s. But as his fame grew, Napoleon became increasingly obsessed with his need for an heir and irritated with Josephine’s extravagant spending. The woman who had enchanted France became desperate and jealous. Until, a divorcee aged forty-seven, she was forced to watch from the sidelines as Napoleon and his young bride produced a child. 1. Language: English. Narrator: Sandra Duncan. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/rhuk/001663/bk_rhuk_001663_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.