Author(s): Tom Quinn
Alice Keppel was one of the most remarkable courtesans in British history. She was extraordinary for a number of reasons--not least that she was the lover of Edward VII for many years, though she managed to avoid much of the stigma attached to being a royal mistress. In fact, Edward was so devoted to her that he insisted she be received wherever he went.
For Mrs. Keppel, it was not how things were that mattered, but how they appeared. Her precepts were those of the English upper classes: discretion, manners, and charm. Sexual fidelity was for those lower down the social scale, but the appearance, at least, of civilized marriage was vital; as essential as pearls, furs, and a hat at Ascot.
Aside from her relationship with Edward VII, Alice Keppel is also noted for being the mother of Violet Trefusis, famously the lover of Vita Sackville-West, and, intriguingly, great-grandmother to Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, once a royal mistress herself.
Tom Quinn, bestselling author ofBackstairs Billy, unearths the fascinating story of Mrs. Keppel, revealing her to have been one of the most compelling characters of the Edwardian era: charming, voracious, selfish, manipulative, and indeed, strikingly modern.
Tom Quinn is the author ofLondon's Strangest Tales and many more titles, including the bestsellingBackstairs Billy: The Life of William Tallon, the Queen Mother's Most Devoted Servant. He lives in London.
Tom Quinn is the author of Backstairs Billy: The Life of William Tallon, the Queen Mother's Most Devoted Servant; Cocoa at Midnight: The True Story of My Life as a Housekeeper; The Cook's Tale: Life below Stairs as It Really Was and many more titles. He lives in London.