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W&N History HB September @ £20.00 320pp 16pp b/w illustrations 978 0 297 86983 2 eBook: £20.00 / 978 0 297 86984 9

‘Anne de Courcy combines the perseverence of a social historian with the panache of a novelist’ – The Times

ANNE DE COURCY Peace, Love and War at Downing Street Margot Asquith and her Circle


A view of the First World War from inside Downing Street: a story of unrequited love, loss, sacrifice and scandal. In 1912, with the daring, unconventional Margot Asquith at its helm, the prime minister’s residence was transformed into a glittering social and intellectual salon. Number 10 was run like an English country house, with daily lunch parties where political talk was banned. But rumblings of discontent began to intrude – at times literally, with suffragettes throwing bricks through the windows. The outbreak of the First World War only heightened the political and personal tensions within Downing Street. At the heart of this book is a torturous human drama: a powerful but shy man only recently remarried fell desperately in love with his daughter’s best friend, while his jealous daughter did her best to come between her father and her glamorous, emotional stepmother. The fact that the man at the centre of this drama was the prime minister and that it was taking place against some of the most momentous times in modern British history makes this story even more remarkable. Anne de Courcy brings her assured touch and eye for a story to the lives of Margot Asquith and her circle. The prism of Downing Street from 1912 to 1916 offers a fascinating and unique vantage point on the social history of the First World War. Anne de Courcy is the author of many highly acclaimed works of social history including The Viceroy’s Daughters, Debs at War, and the bestselling The Fishing Fleet.


Location: London and Gloucestershire Available for interview

W&N Non-Fiction • September 2014