Loelia, Duchess of Westminster. Foreword by Noel Coward.
Reynal & Company. New York. 1961. First US edition. First published in the UK in the same year. Inscribed by Leolia in ink to the title-page - 'To Dearest alan / With more than cousinly love / Loelia.'. With Alan Pryce-Jones' ex libris bookplate to front pastedown. Russet cloth-bound hardback, dust jacket. 244 pages. 24 hors texte illustrations. 225 x 150mm (8¾ x 6"). 0.5kg. . English. Near fine; small area of residue of tape on verso of dust jacket, not affecting the front; no tears, no inscriptions, a remarkably fresh copy and jacket.
An association copy of Leolia, Duchess of Westminster's memoirs. Leolia begins by writing about her childhood, describing with saddening detail the remoteness of her parents and the tyranny of her nannies. She came out at the end of the First World War and was launched into a round of debutante parties, balls and dances. As the roaring twenties took hold Loelia became one of the original bright young people. She details their exploits including the fancy dress parties, the night club visits and the treasure hunts. She also credits herself as the instigator of the infamous bottle parties; being short of funds she asked her friends to "bring a bottle" to a party she was organising. The fun of the 1920s clouds over when she marries Bendor Grosvenor, Duke of Westminster in 1930. At first charming he quickly becomes a tyrannical, jealous husband. Leolia is searingly honest about her relationship with Bendor and the memoirs end with their inevitable separation five years later. The whole is an absorbing and truthful contemporary account of the inter-War years.