Listen here to 5 excerpts from the book read by Geoffrey Palmer and broadcast on BBC Radio 4. Each one is 13-14 minutes long.

Selected Works

"Pure. Reading. Pleasure. Like cake, only good for you."
"A clever, surprisingly substantial take on the life of Jacqueline Onassis. . . . Both respectful and scintillating."
Kirkus Reviews
"Thereís plenty to admire in this rollicking romp of a biography, which puts the pursuit of pleasure — both Disraeliís and ours — at its heart."
Mail on Sunday
"An engrossing double biography."
—Sunday Times
"A timely contribution to scholarly research on a topic of great interest and fascination."
Journal of Modern History

Henry and Mary Ponsonby were two of the most important people at the court of Queen Victoria. This double biography examines their lives with and without the Queen. His father was a veteran of Waterloo. Her father bankrupted her family by building a too-elaborate country house. They came to serve at a court that was increasingly conservative in its politics as the century went on, but both Ponsonbys were liberal and sometimes radical in their political opinions. The book is based on their correspondence in the Royal Archives at Windsor Castle as well as on family papers at Shulbrede Priory.