WIND IN MY HAIR A Kaleidoscope of Memories by Josephine Loewenstein
‘Josephine Loewenstein has lived most of her life in the whirlwind wake of husband Rupert, amidst high society, the Rolling Stones, royalty and the fast lane of the 20th century. But here is a surprisingly dispassionate and acute observer of this passing show, by no means mesmerised or dazzled by it. There is a lot to read between the lines.’
In Wind In My Hair, Josephine Loewenstein captures the rich kaleidoscope of a life lived to the full. Many of the worlds she has been part of have vanished, or are fast disappearing. By breathing new life into them, she has created a collage of memories in which autobiography and a sharp ear share the page with cameos of the larger-than-life characters whose paths have crossed hers – many of them famous, others who cast a brief, but occasionally notorious, glow on their age, and are now shadowy footnotes.
Happily she maintains a sense of distance, even when she is at the heart of the story. Privilege and austerity punctuated her childhood. She spent much of the Second World War at Ledbury Park, her grandparents’ ancient half-timbered house in Herefordshire. Later she trained at the Sadler’s Wells Ballet School under the formidable Ninette de Valois, appearing in the opening performance at Covent Garden in 1946.
Forced to give up her career because of her height, Josephine escaped to Rome, a city bursting with colour and vitality in contrast to the shortages and gloom of post-war London. Marriage to Prince Rupert Loewenstein introduced her to a dolce vita lifestyle, in which she somehow successfully contrived to be both participant and observer.
Throughout, Princess Josephine casts an often funny, occasionally moving sideways look at this patchwork of parties, people and places. Yet for all the wealth and glamour, there is a poignancy about her observations, a sense of the transience behind the glitter and bravura, that makes Wind in My Hair refreshingly different to many other memoirs.
Sewn hardback with jacket, 185 x 244 mms
196 pages, illustrated throughout in colour and black and white