Lady Annabel Goldsmith is a daughter of the 8th Marquess of Londonderry. The family fortunes were based on coal-mining. In her enthralling memoirs she told of her aristocratic upbringing with an increasingly eccentric father, a Conservative MP with strong liberal leanings, and a mother who died young from cancer. Her personal account of marrying Mark Birley at 20, the creation of Annabel's Club in Berkeley Square, and then her affair and later marriage to entrepreneur Sir James Goldsmith, enthralled many readers. The club was a huge success from the beginning and remains so into its fourth decade.
Annabel had three children with Goldsmith, including Jemima, Zac and Ben, who married into the Rothschild family. But tragedy was never far away: Rupert, her eldest son, died in an accident, and Goldsmith died from cancer after financing a campaign of candidates opposed to the John Major line on the EU at the 1997 general election.
This book elegantly describes, in intimate and perceptive essays, pen-portraits of some of the extraordinary figures that entered the Birley and Goldsmith circles - among them, Lord Lambton, Patrick Plunket, John Aspinall, Geoffrey Keating, Lord Lucan, Dominic Elwes and Claus von Bulow. The richness of the narrative is in the particular detail and observation which only a true insider can record.