Backstairs Billy

The Life of William Tallon, the Queen Mother's Most Devoted Servant

Author: Tom Quinn

Publisher: Biteback Publishing

ISBN: 1849548935

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 272

View: 7196

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"William Tallon was a creature of extremes: though intensely loyal, he was also a dangerous risk-taker; though charming, he could also be vicious; though considerate and amusing, he could be ruthless and predatory. For much of his life he was driven by two demons: a powerful sex drive and an intense, almost pathological love for the Queen Mother...” From humble beginnings as a shopkeeper’s son in Coventry to ‘Page of the Backstairs’ at Clarence House, William Tallon, or ‘Backstairs Billy’ as he came to be known, entered royal service at the age of fifteen. Over the next fifty years, he became one of the most notorious and flamboyant characters ever to have graced the royal household - the one servant the Queen Mother just could not do without. While others came and went, he remained by her side, becoming one of her most trusted friends and confidants. The fascinating life story of the man who spent more than half a century working for one of the world’s most elusive institutions, Backstairs Billy provides a rare glimpse of what the royals really get up to behind closed doors...
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The Queen's Accomplice

A Maggie Hope Mystery

Author: Susan Elia MacNeal

Publisher: Bantam

ISBN: 0804178739

Category: Fiction

Page: 368

View: 8268

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Spy and code-breaker extraordinaire Maggie Hope returns to war-weary London, where she is thrust into the dangerous hunt for a monster, as the New York Times bestselling mystery series for fans of Jacqueline Winspear, Charles Todd, and Anne Perry continues. England, 1942. The Nazis’ relentless Blitz may have paused, but London’s nightly blackouts continue. Now, under the cover of darkness, a madman is brutally killing and mutilating young women in eerie and exact re-creations of Jack the Ripper’s crimes. What’s more, he’s targeting women who are reporting for duty to be Winston Churchill’s spies and saboteurs abroad. The officers at MI-5 quickly realize they need the help of special agent Maggie Hope to find the killer dubbed “the Blackout Beast.” A trap is set. But once the murderer has his sights on Maggie, not even Buckingham Palace can protect the resourceful spy from her fate. Praise for The Queen’s Accomplice “Maggie is a thoughtful spy whose dangerous escapades never disappoint.”—Kirkus Reviews “A fine historical mystery given a feminist slant.”—Booklist “Plausible and elegant . . . Like all MacNeal’s novels, this one ends on a cliffhanger that will leave readers eagerly awaiting Maggie’s next adventure.”—Shelf Awareness “Works as a suspenseful stand-alone . . . interesting and informative . . . wartime London is vividly portrayed . . . recommended for those who like their historical mysteries with a large dose of suspense.”—Historical Novel Society “For those who are Maggie Hope diehards, this latest in the series is sure to satisfy.”—Reviewing the Evidence “MacNeal’s meticulous research shines through on every page, and pays off with a wartime atmosphere that feels real.”—Crimespree Magazine
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Dining with the Rich and Royal

Author: Fiona Ross

Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield

ISBN: 1442252286

Category: Cooking

Page: 356

View: 6349

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Dining with the Rich and Royal is a marvelous journey into the gastronomic peccadilloes of the great, the good, and the not-so-good. When the world is at your feet, what is on your table? Dining with the Rich and Royal serves up the glamour of the jet set on a plate, from the silver spoon to the last Kleenex wipe. We follow the food adventures of Hilton, Hefner, and Howard Hughes; the great transatlantic dynasties: Onassis, the Vanderbilts, the Astors and the Rothschilds. Royals watchers and history twitchers will find out the effect of too many fairy feasts on Ludwig of Bavaria; how Hirohito and Ibn Saud tasted East-Meets-West diplomacy. Would you try the cake that killed Rasputin or suck on a suicide sweet with Antony and Cleo? Was it sex or raspberry soufflé that won Mrs. Simpson a king’s heart? It’s all here: a succession of abdications, executions, revolutions, coronations, tales of toothache and posh picnics spiced with the odd military coup or two. Mind your manners now.
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Mrs Keppel

Mistress to the King

Author: Tom Quinn

Publisher: Biteback Publishing

ISBN: 1785901532

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 300

View: 746

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For Alice Keppel, it was all about appearances. Her precepts were those of the English upper classes: discretion, manners and charm. Nothing else mattered - especially when it came to her infamous affair with King Edward VII. As the King's favourite mistress up until his death in 1910, Alice held significant influence at court and over Edward himself. But it wasn't just Edward she courted: throughout her life, Alice enthusiastically embarked on affairs with bankers, MPs, peers - anybody who could elevate her standing and pay the right price. She was a shrewd courtesan, and her charisma and voracity ensured her both power and money, combined as they were with an aptitude for manipulation. Drawing on a range of sources, including salacious first-hand eyewitness accounts, bestselling author Tom Quinn paints an extraordinary picture of the Edwardian aristocracy, and traces the lives of royal mistresses down to Alice's great-granddaughter, the current Duchess of Cornwall. Both intriguing and astonishing, this is an unadulterated glimpse into a hidden world of scandal, decadence and debauchery.
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More London's Strangest Tales

Author: Tom Quinn

Publisher: Robson Press

ISBN: 9781849549189

Category:

Page: 304

View: 7903

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Tom Quinn delves into the endlessly fascinating and sometimes bizarre history of one of the world s great capitals."
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The Reluctant Billionaire

The Tragic Life of Gerald Grosvenor, Sixth Duke of Westminster

Author: Tom Quinn

Publisher: Biteback Publishing

ISBN: 1785904248

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 320

View: 1448

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When Gerald Grosvenor, sixth Duke of Westminster, died in August 2016 he was one of the world’s richest men, his fortune estimated at just under £10 billion. Yet he hated his wealth and spent long periods suffering from severe depression, much of it brought on by a feeling that his whole life had been a failure and that his money had destroyed any chance of happiness. At the same time, he could be ruthless in running the business while often feeling he was only a mascot. Gerald Grosvenor came into the line of succession by mere chance – or ‘rotten bad luck’ as he put it. The third Duke was childless and the title passed to a cousin, who became fourth Duke in 1963 and then, when he died four years later, to his younger brother, Gerald’s father, Robert Grosvenor, who lived on an island in Lough Erne where Gerald grew up. Tom Quinn interviewed the sixth Duke on a number of occasions as well as people who knew the duke socially or had at various times worked with or for him. He discovered a complex man tortured by what he saw as his failures. He was a man who longed to return to his idyllic rural childhood yet was only really happy as an adult in the company of call girls. The book looks at the long and often eccentric history of the Grosvenor family and its wealth and the complex means by which that wealth has been shielded from the taxman, as well as the bizarre life of a man who was that strangest of things: The Reluctant Billionaire.
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Kensington Palace

An Intimate Memoir from Queen Mary to Meghan Markle

Author: Tom Quinn

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: 9781785904790

Category: Architecture

Page: 320

View: 3650

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Kensington palace has been described as a royal menagerie, a hive of industrious freeloaders, an ant heap and even a lunatic asylum. Tom Quinn takes the reader behind the official version of palace history to discover intriguing, sometimes wild, often scandalous, but frequently heart-warming stories. For more than 200 years the younger members of the British royal family - including future monarchs - have lived at Kensington Palace, alongside royal aunts and uncles, distant cousins and assorted aristocratic eccentrics. Kensington Palace has been the scene of countless bizarre events - here, for example, the young Queen Victoria was held a virtual prisoner for eighteen years; and it was from Kensington Palace that Queen Caroline ran the country while her husband George II moved his pictures around. In more recent times, Kensington Palace was famously the scene of Charles and Diana's nightmare marriage and Charles's serial adulteries. But then Kensington Palace has a long history of royal philandering. George II installed his wife and mistress in the palace, for example, and made his mistress sleep in a room so damp there were said to be mushrooms growing on the walls. And then there were the eccentrics. George III's sixth son, Augustus, Duke of Sussex, became a virtual recluse at the palace. He collected hundreds of clocks and mechanical toys, thousands of early Bibles and dozens of songbirds that were allowed to fly freely through the royal apartments. Today, the palace is home to the future King William and his wife Catherine, and until recently home to the newly married Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Harry and Meghan. The palace has been described as a royal menagerie, a hive of industrious freeloaders, an ant heap and even a lunatic asylum. Tom Quinn takes the reader behind the official version of palace history to discover intriguing, sometimes wild, often scandalous, but frequently heart-warming stories.
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