The glittering letters of British socialite Lady Diana Cooper to her son John Julius Norwich, from pre-World War Two London to post-Liberation Paris
‘Please, darling monster, write as often as you can. It’s so sad waiting for letters that don’t come and are not even written. I love my darling boy. Don’t treat me so badly again or I’ll have your lights and liver when I get home.’ 19 November 1939
‘I wish, I wish it was all over – Hitler defeated, the lights up again and the guns still.’ 2 October 1940
Lady Diana Cooper was the Edwardian It Girl who inspired novelists from Evelyn Waugh to Nancy Mitford. Born Lady Diana Manners, she was an aristocrat, society darling and an actress. Married to political star Duff Cooper, they were the golden couple at the heart of 20th century British upper-class life. This extraordinary collection of letters written by Diana to her only son, John Julius Norwich, takes us from the rumblings of war, through the Blitz to rural Sussex to post-Liberation Paris.
Beyond all the glitz, Diana emerges in these letters as highly intelligent, funny and fiercely loyal: a woman who disliked extravagance and was often shy, who was happiest in the countryside and whose greatest love were her husband and son John, who would later become a leading historian and broadcaster. These illuminating letters document some of history’s most dramatic events, but they provide a vivid and touching portrait of the love between a mother and son, separated by war, oceans – and the constraints of the time they lived in.
‘Diana Cooper is as vivid in literature and social legend as she was in life. Her letters are frank, witty and humorous’ The Times
Witty, touching, perceptive and beautifully written... Read at a sitting or keep by your bed -- either way you will be enchanted
Cooper's letters have special immediacy and frankness... a lot of gossip, for sure, but also some sublime descriptive writing... And then there is her beadiness, which is worth its weight in silver breakfast trays... Truly blissful
She treats her son, last seen in a dimly lit station, as a much missed grown-up to whom she can be exhilaratingly open. She sends him intimate glimpses of the great... the good... and the not-so good. Inescapably posh but rarely judgemental... she is rescued from glibness by her childlike curiosity and humour, and the always innocent eye with which she peeks at the world
This book is a rich fruitcake, stuffed with delicious and surprising plums
Though always exigent of love, the letters are filled with jokes, sharp observation and relish for the passing moment. This selection of them offers a sparkling portrait of a maternal relationship