Viola Bankes


In 1981 Viola Bankes’s brother bequeathed Kingston Lacy and its immense Dorset estates to the National Trust, abruptly ending 300 years of ownership by the Bankes family. Viola’s own childhood was spent against a background of Edwardian high society at its most aristocratic. The Prince of Wales and his German cousin, the Kaiser, were regular visitors. Yet opulence brought few advantages. Her father’s death was kept secret from her, as were his mistresses. Nanny succeeded nanny: some heartless, some kind, one mad. Whilst her mother was a formidable and self-willed woman whose extraordinary character dominates every page of this gloriously indiscreet and often moving portrait of a world that is now extinct.

Reprinted 8 times

ISBN 978 0 946 15933 8

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