Annabel: An Unconventional Life: The Memoirs of Lady Annabel Goldsmith

Overview

Lady Annabel Goldsmith is a daughter of the 8th Marquess of Londonderry. In these memoirs she tells of her aristocratic upbringing with an increasingly eccentric father, a Conservative MP with strong liberal leanings, and a mother who died young from cancer. She tells of her marriages, her children, and the tragedies she has faced in her life.

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Overview

Lady Annabel Goldsmith is a daughter of the 8th Marquess of Londonderry. In these memoirs she tells of her aristocratic upbringing with an increasingly eccentric father, a Conservative MP with strong liberal leanings, and a mother who died young from cancer. She tells of her marriages, her children, and the tragedies she has faced in her life.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“Married first to Mark Birley, founder of the hyper-exclusive, ultra-glamorous nightclub that bears her name, and then to the late, legendary Anglo-French tycoon Jimmy Goldsmith, Lady Annabel Goldsmith was the uncrowned queen of café society, privy to many of its most fascinating dramas. In her forthcoming memoir, she writes about Lord Lucan’s disappearance, Claus and Sonny von Bülow’s marriage, Princess Diana’s frequent visits, and why she was willing to share Jimmy with two other women.” —Vanity Fair

Kirkus Reviews
The daughter of the eighth Marquess of Londonderry chronicles her aristocratic life in a low-key, chatty memoir chock-full of famous names. Born in 1934, Annabel grew up in resplendent wealth amid various grand country houses in Scotland and Ireland. Her grandmother was a great political hostess, linked to the royal family, and at the Queen's coronation in 1953 her older sister was one of the six chosen maids of honor. Annabel's "coming out" was overshadowed by the ghastly death from mouth cancer of her adored mother, a commoner who had married her father for love. At age 19, Annabel quietly married Mark Birley, a member of her set and son of portrait painter Oswald Birley. A gambler and business mind, Mark started up several notable London society night spots, including Harry's Bar and Annabel's, one of the swinging '60s most famous clubs, located in the basement of 44 Berkeley Square. There, the flesh-and-blood Annabel met French-English businessman Jimmy Goldsmith, who marketed pharmaceutical products, was friendly with Margaret Thatcher, and forged the reactionary Referendum Party. Jimmy had a family in France and a mistress in New York, but that didn't impede him and Annabel from marrying and having three children together. ("If you marry your mistress," Goldsmith once wisecracked, "you create a vacancy.") Although Jimmy often lived elsewhere, leaving Annabel and the children at their Ormeley house near Richmond Park, they vacationed together in exotic spots, an arrangement that seems to have suited his pampered and undemanding wife. Her memoir is full of dogs and children, specific about names and places-Princess Diana was a friend, so were Claus and Sunny von Bulow; Armand Hammeronce made a pass at her-but emotionally spotty. A thin slice of the upper-upper-crust.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780753820377
  • Publisher: Phoenix
  • Publication date: 1/28/2005
  • Pages: 322
  • Product dimensions: 5.00 (w) x 7.60 (h) x 1.02 (d)

Table of Contents

List of Illustration ix
Family tree xii
Introduction 1
1 Mount Stewart 9
2 My Arrival, the War and the Brown House 29
3 Boarding School 48
4 Wynyard 57
5 Cuffy's Tutorial College and Mummy's Illness 77
6 Coming Out 90
7 Marriage to Mark 111
8 Married Life 121
9 Spreading Wings 140
10 Holidays 159
11 Annabel's 176
12 Meeting Jimmy 199
13 My Second Family 226
14 Rupert 252
15 The Referendum Campaign and Jimmy's Illness 261
16 Children and Grandchildren 283
Acknowledgments and thanks 299
Index 301
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