Nancy: The Story of Lady Astor

Adrian Fort, Author
Adrian Fort. St. Martin's, $25.99 (384p) ISBN 978-0-312-59903-4
Reviewed on: 11/26/2012
Release date: 01/22/2013
Paperback - 378 pages - 978-1-250-04267-5
Open Ebook - 400 pages - 978-1-250-01096-4
Hardcover - 384 pages - 978-0-224-09016-2
Open Ebook - 400 pages - 978-1-4090-2858-1
Hardcover - 378 pages - 978-1-84595-161-0
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Born in Virginia just after Reconstruction, little Nannie Keen (1879–1964) could never have guessed that one day she would shake hands with some of the world's most powerful rulers, including Churchill and Stalin. In this fast-paced, exhaustively detailed, and crisply told biography, Fort (Prof: The Life and Times of Frederick Lindemann) traces Nancy's life from her early education to her disastrous first marriage to Bob Shaw, her move to England, and her fortunate meeting with Waldorf Astor. After the two wed, Lady Astor became a scion of high society. From her "strong but loving mother," Nancy learned to never be subservient to a man, and she put that lesson to work during her successful career as the first woman in the House of Commons, elected in 1919. Fort eloquently observes that Astor's strong intuition and deep intelligence suited her well for the challenges of serving the interests of her constituency, despite her lack of experience as a forceful debater; her real success lay in "her reaching Parliament at all, showing women all over the Western world that it could be done." Fort's compulsively readable work is an inspiring tale of an energetic woman—far ahead of her time—tirelessly working to pave the way for future generations. 8-page b&w photo insert, family tree. Agent: Peters, Fraser & Dunlop (U.K.). (Jan.)
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