Wednesday, October 26, 2011

A Cracking Good Story

A few months ago, my good friend Jane Gordon-Cumming let me read the outline to a new book she was planning on the life of her grandfather and grandmother. Having read the opening chapter I was hooked and I was also convinced that she was on to a winner.

Well I was right, because last night Jane's draft for "The American Heiress and the Scottish Rake: The True Story of the Royal Baccarat Scandal" was announced as the winner of the 2011 Tony Lothian Prize of The Biographers' Club. Looking for a picture to illustrate this post I dipped back into my archives for a picture from our youth. This particular shot must have been taken over 40 years ago : but it is the same clever girl who won the prize last night. When the book is eventually published, perhaps she will use this picture on the fly-leaf. 

Reading the words of the judges on the Biographers' Club website, I can only agree with them :-

On behalf of the judges, Valerie Grove said: ‘A famous scandal at the card table, involving the Prince of Wales; an American heiress, one of three sisters who married into the Victorian aristocracy; an opening scene of thrilling drama, as a splendid yacht sinks in a storm. “A cracking good story here,” as Jane Gordon-Cumming confidently told us, and the judges agreed. The American heiress was her grandmother Florence; the Scottish rake her grandfather Sir William Gordon-Cumming – both “flawed, exasperating, eccentric but huge characters”. A sure winner.’

Congratulations Janie.


10 comments:

  1. Congratulations indeed.

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  2. Oh certainly indeed if it were me I'd say what a cracking great idea to use that photo...it's just fabulous for this! Did you take it? Excellent expression caught on film for sure....this book even interests me. What an exciting title...the Scottish Rake...very cool! many congraduations to your friend, and lucky you, for knowing her and sharing in this celebration too!

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  3. How exciting it is when someone you know achieves in this way. It sounds like a good read. Valerie Grove is no mean biographer herself and if she says it good, then it must be!

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  4. How exciting to have some scandal in one's family! All my lot were really boring. And congrats to Jane - what an encouragement to her.

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  5. Congratulations to your friend!

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  6. Well I don't know whether to be prouder of winning the prize or having that lovely write-up on News from Nowhere! Where did that photo come from? I was never that young.

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  7. It is wonderful that she received the award. It sounds like good reading for this winter.

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  8. Congratulations to your friend! It sounds like a terrific story. And what a great photo!

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  9. Wow, it sounds exciting! And what a splendid title.

    I don't think my relatives ever did anything remotely as exciting, although since I have not really done any research into them, I can't be sure. Hm, perhaps I should....

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  10. How exciting! Congratulations to Jane Gordon-Cumming! I will be sure to look out for the book when it is published. Will it come to the U.S. do you think?

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