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Those Wild Wyndhams: Three Sisters at the Heart of Power

Tuesday 24 March 2015

1 Hour


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Writer Claudia Renton lays bare the last days of Edwardian England through the turbulent lives of the three Wyndham sisters – Mary, Madeline and Pamela. Their portrait, painted in 1899 by John Singer Sergeant, came to symbolise the leisured and gilded lives of the late Victorian aristocracy, a world that came to a crashing end with the First World War. Renton shows how their lives were far more chaotic than the air of calm portrayed in the painting. They were associated with a group of brilliant friends with liberated morals but all made conventional, and for two of them unhappy, marriages. All three found emotional support elsewhere.

Renton was awarded the Gibbs Book prize for Modern History while at the University of Oxford. She is a practising barrister, co-author of Heroes with Simon Sebag Montefiore and was named one of the Guardian’s ‘new history boys and girls’, fashionable young writers spearheading new writing in history.

Sponsored by HSBC.