For the first time the Astors' own version of events at Cliveden during the Profumo affair of the early 1960s can be told; and its devastating effect on the lives of Viscount Astor and his wife Bronwen. A tale of triumph over tragedy - sex in high places, Soviet spies, political skullduggery and personal redemption.
For thirty years Bronwen Astor has maintained silence over the Profumo scandal, out of respect for her dead husband's wishes and to protect his children. Now she feels the time has come to tell the truth about a period when she was in the international spotlight, a time that changed her life for ever. She lost everything in the scandal - her husband, her home and her good name.
It is a fascinating story of a couple under siege, unable to fight back against the rumour-mongerers, pressurised from every side, cold-shouldered by the establishment and, in the case of Viscount Astor, driven to an early grave. For Bronwen, it was a remarkable turn-about. Until 1963, she had been a media darling, a television presenter and supermodel, feted by Pierre Balmain as the most beautiful woman in the world who married into a famous Anglo-American dynasty (Bill Astor was the son of the famous Nancy Astor).
Bronwen Astor has granted Peter Stanford access to papers, diaries and records that detail life at Cliveden in the crucial period between 1961 and the death of her husband. They chart Cliveden at the height of its powers, with its famous guests, lavish parties and spectacular setting; and then its inexorable decline as the ramifications of Christine Keeler's frolics led to the disintegration of Cliveden and the end of an era for the aristocratic world of weekend parties.
Contains 16 pages of black and white photographs.
- Publication Date:
- 01 / 05 / 2000
- 162 x 238mm