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Queen Bees


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About the Author

Cultural historian Sian Evans has worked for the National Trust, the V&A and the Design Museum, and is the author of several works of social history including Mrs Ronnie: The Society Hostess Who Collected Kings, The Manor Reborn and Life Below Stairs.Sian lives in London.


So entertaining - and there's lots of insider fun to be had... Excels at anecdotes and punchlines... The strength of Queen Bees is its wealth of detail and its author's nose for a human story... This book dances in and out of its subject to the sound of plate-smashing, cut-glass gossip, ukeleles, Beecham's orchestras, jazz bands, Nazi anthems and bombs. "I've been to a marvellous party," wrote Noel Coward. Thanks to Queen Bees, we can feel as though we were there too. * The Times *
The book, like their parties, is often "enormous fun" * Guardian *
Delightful... Crammed with fascinating anecdotes * Independent *
If guest lists and gossip columns, invitations and address books, seating plans and social mountaineering tick your box, this is the book for you. * The Times *
Rich in anecdote... a fascinating account... Group biography is a difficult trick to pull off, but Evans is deft with her interweaving of narrative and history... * The Sunday Times *
This is a whirl of a book, gossipy, light and fun * Times Literary Supplement *
Evans's pacy account of these intrepid social lion-hunters sparkles with famous names * Mail on Sunday *
Gloriously gossipy... A snapshot of a bygone age from Gosford Park-style big country house parties to dancing until dawn in Park Lane mansions long demolished. * Red Magazine *
The individual characters of these unusual women are well delineated and all played significant roles in their time... An entertaining "spectacle of celebrity, talent, and burning ambition". * Sunday Express *
An irresistible and witty account * Woman & Home *
A compelling portrait of six inspiring women * The Lady *
Wonderfully readable * Country Life *
An exciting read, Evans has painted a compelling portrait of six inspiring women. * The Mitford Society *
Evans makes a good case for her hostesses' importance as purveyors of soft power: the artistic, cultural and political reach of their address books, she argues had a profound impact on modern British society. All were marvellously quotable, as spiteful as they were ambitious, mistresses of the apparently throwaway remark designed to draw blood, but their success was due as much to their status and fortunes as to their brilliance. One of the pleasures of books like these is that you close them with a feeling of overwhelming gratitude for your own mundane life * Literary Review *

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