VIOLA BANKES was born in 1901, one of three children of of Walter Ralph Bankes, owner of the Kingston Lacy and Corfe Castle estates in Dorset, and one of the wealthiest of Edwardian grandees. Her early life was spent either at Kingston Lacy or Studland, and the book is based on the reminiscences of her childhood. In 1927 she married an Australian doctor, Norman Hall, and was ostracised from the family. In 1981 her brother Ralph bequeathed Kingston Lacy, Corfe Castle, and the 16,000 acres of the Dorset estate to the National Trust, its largest bequest.


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