Patsy: The Story of Mary Cornwallis West
The amazing tale of the scandal that surrounded one of turn-of-the-century England's most beautiful women - and how it nearly unseated the British government during the First World War.
When the noble-born Mary Cornwallis West, known as Patsy, started a secret affair with a wounded soldier billeted at her family's estate, neither of them dreamed that their relationship would throw the reputation of the entire British Parliament into question. But as Patsy's attempts to get her lover promoted to an officership were uncovered, the case came to symbolize all the ways in which the aristocracy toyed with the lives and deaths of British commoners. Patsy's own life of luxury and often reckless disregard for manners and morals were called into question, and she and her War Office consorts were shamed in front of Parliament and the press. And finally a dramatic Act of Parliament, especially introduced by David Lloyd George because of the affair, resulted in Patsy herself being questioned by a secret military tribunal.
Tim Coates's book draws fascinatingly on government documents and private papers and, with the imaginative flair of a novel, brings to life the story of a singular woman and the world she lived in.
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