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Last curtsey : the end of the debutantes

Author: Fiona MacCarthy
Publisher: London : Faber, 2006.
Edition/Format:   Print book : Biography : EnglishView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
"'In 1958 - the year in which Krushchev came to power in Russia, the year after Eden's resignation over Suez, two years after John Osborne's Look Back in Anger - the last of the debutantes, myself among them, went to the Palace to curtsey to the Queen.' Fiona MacCarthy and her fellow 'debs' were taking part in one of the final rituals of aristocratic power. The system had been in operation almost unchanged since the  Read more...
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Material Type: Biography
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Fiona MacCarthy
ISBN: 9780571228591 0571228593
OCLC Number: 70671822
Description: xii, 305 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Contents: Presentation at the palace --
Preparations for the season --
Cocktail parties --
The London dances --
My dance at the Dorchester --
Country dances --
The Dublin house show --
The Scottish balls --
What happened to the season? --
What happened to the debs? --
Epilogue.
Responsibility: Fiona MacCarthy.

Abstract:

Filtered through some of its colourful and eccentric inhabitants, from Lady Caroline Lamb in the eighteenth-century to Princess Diana in the twentieth, this work offers a portrait of Britain as both  Read more...

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   schema:reviewBody ""'In 1958 - the year in which Krushchev came to power in Russia, the year after Eden's resignation over Suez, two years after John Osborne's Look Back in Anger - the last of the debutantes, myself among them, went to the Palace to curtsey to the Queen.' Fiona MacCarthy and her fellow 'debs' were taking part in one of the final rituals of aristocratic power. The system had been in operation almost unchanged since the eighteenth century. It was a female rite of passage, an elaborate initiation ceremony marking the emergence of the virgin out of the schoolroom and into society at the marriageable age of seventeen. But that year, in 1958, it was drawing to a close." "Under pressure to shine - not least from their mothers - the girls were somewhere between teenagers and clones of the Queen herself. The focus for newspaper diarists and society photographers, these young women participated in a party season stretching for months among the great houses of England, Ireland and Scotland. Yet behind all the grandeur lay anxiety and making-do, as many families struggled to maintain the splendour of former times." "Fiona MacCarthy traces the stories of the girls who curtseyed that year, and shows how their lives were to open out in often very unexpected ways - as Britain itself changed irreversibly during the 1960s, and the certainties of the old order came to an end. Sharp, witty and beautifully observed, Last Curtsey is a triumph both as memoir and as social history."--BOOK JACKET." ;
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