Perfume from Provence, Blackwoods First Edition 1935

Perfume from Provence, Summersdale Revival Series Edition 2009

Sunset House, Blackwoods First Edition 1937

Sunset House, Black Swan Edition 1993

THANK YOU

The help and contributions from Lady Fortescue's relatives, Transworld Publishing, Society of Authors, and visitors to the site is much appreciated.

BOOK PAGE

Synopsis of all her books.

BOOK HELP

Help to find copies of your missing editions.

EDITIONS

Scan or photograph a dust wrapper and e-mail it to the site to have it included on the book page. There are still some missing editions.

VISITORS BOOK

Leave a message in the Visitor Book

Please sign the guest book or just have a look at what other people have left.

GALLERY

View the pictures in the gallery pages

Photo's of people & places of interest connected with Winifred.

CONTENTS

View the whole site contents, over 100 pages, listed at a glance and go directly to a particular page by clicking on the hyperlinks.

SEARCH

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RECIPE

Traditional Provencal Recipe.

LINKS

Links to related sites of interest.

ARCHIVES

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2013 Archive

2012 Archive

2011 Archive

2010 Archive

2009 Archive

2008 Archive

2007 Archive

2006 Archive

2005 Archive

2004 Archive

2003 Archive

FEATURES

Magazine Feature

The Riviera Reporter Magazine

THE DOMAINE WEB SITE

Valerie de Courcel - The Domaine, Art & The Garden

Click here to visit the site. Garden, art & visits.

Dmaine Slide Show

Click here to see the slide show of The Domaine garden.

Lady Fortescue's original garden at the Villa Fort France has been awarded the label 'jardin remarquable'

SOME MORE INTERESTING BOOKS ON SOUTHERN FRANCE

Escape to Provence by Maureen Emerson, published July 2008

Escape to Provence
by Maureen Emerson.

Two Vagabonds in languedoc by Jan & Cora Gordon

Two Vagabonds in Languedoc
by Jan & Cora Gordon.

The Good Straight Englishwoman by Amanda Davies

The Good Straight Englishwoman by Amanda Davies.

Americans And The Making Of The Riviera by Michael Nelson

Americans And The Making Of The Riviera
by Michael Nelson.

Queen Victoria and the Discovery of The Riviera by Michael Nelson

Queen Victoria and the Discovery of The Riviera
by Michael Nelson.

French Riviera - A History by Michael Nelson

The French Riviera - A History
by Michael Nelson.

The French Riviera A Literary Guide For Travellers

The French Riviera A Literary Guide For Travellers
by Ted Jones.

The Olive Farm series of books by Carol Drinkwater

The Olive Farm Series by Carol Drinkwater

l'Auberge by Julia Stagg

l'Auberge
by
Julia Stagg

The Parisian's Return by Julia Stagg

The Parisian's
Return
by
Julia Stagg

The French Postmistress by Julia Stagg

The French
Postmistress
by
Julia Stagg

A Fete to
Remember
by
Julia Stagg

A Christmas
Wedding
by
Julia Stagg

Last Chance in
the Pyrenees
by
Julia Stagg

Dog Trots Globe by Sheron Long

Dog Trots Globe
Paris,Provence

by
Sheron Long

Maureen Emerson - author of 'Escape to Provence'

Author
Maureen Emerson

and a very warm welcome!

  • Thank you for visiting the site which has developed from a love of Lady Winifred Fortescue's books, France, and in particular, Provence and the Alpes-Maritimes. In 1935 a book called Perfume from Provence was published which instantly became a best seller, rocketing its gentle, charming author almost overnight to fame and success. At the height of their popularity, in the 1930's -1950's, her books, 7 in all,  sold many thousands of copies making Winifred Fortescue a best selling author. Concerned that interest in her books and her amazing life might fade with the passage of time, it was a delight to find that when Black Swan re-published 4 of the books in paperback in the 1990's they became best sellers once again. Perfume from Provence was serialized for BBC Radio 4 and released on a BBC audio cassette tape. The reader was the well known British actress Stephanie Cole.

  • Winifred Fortescue was a woman ahead of her time who, faced with various forms of adversity, would turn her hand to anything, make a go of it and generally succeed - usually but not always with a touch of laughter. I hope the web site will help to keep her work alive and allow you to enjoy some of the locations and personalities that Winifred knew and, in addition, introduce new generations to the delights of Perfume from Provence and learn about the woman behind it.

  • After 81 years, and for the first time since 2000, Perfume from Provence has been re-published by Summersdale and is now available again direct from the publisher or through the web site.

Sunset House artwork by Brian Sanders

  • The Provence that Winifred & John Fortescue moved to in the 1930's has changed almost beyond recognition. Her view down the mountain from 'Sunset House' now reveals a golf course resort, out of town shopping centre and many developments and roads although Opio village is largely unchanged. Grasse & Cannes have grown considerably and Nice, of course, is a very busy cosmopolitan city and resort. That said, many of the buildings in the books remain including the 'Domaine' and 'Sunset House', both in private ownership. Please browse through the pages, there are currently over 100. More photographs of locations that feature in her books will be added from time to time.

There's Rosemary There's Rue Artwork by Brian Sanders

  • Comments, contributions, photographs, information & suggestions are welcomed. Please do use the visitors book or send an email via the email link. Early editions of Winifred Fortescue's books in hardback, and even some of the later paperback versions are becoming harder to find. Please email if you are looking for a particular book.

Trampled Lilies artwork by Brian Sanders

 

  • Winifred Fortescue was born in a Suffolk rectory on 7th February 1888, the third child of a country rector and connected, on her mother's side, to the Fighting Battyes of India. When she was seventeen - in order to ease the strain on family finances - she decided to try to earn her own living and went on the stage, performing in Sir Herbert Tree's* company, and later starring in Jerome K. Jerome's The Passing of the Third Floor Back. In 1914 she married John Fortescue, the King's Librarian and Archivist and famous historian of the British Army. The marriage, in spite of a huge disparity of age between them, (some 28yrs),was a uniquely happy one, and although Winifred Fortescue gave up her career on the stage, she later began a successful interior decorating and dress designing business until illness forced her to close her business down. It was at that point that she began writing, for Punch, the Daily Chronicle, the Evening News, finally inaugurating and editing a Woman's Page for the Morning Post.

  • *(Sir Herbert Beerbohm Tree founded RADA in 1904 and was the grandfather of actor Oliver Reed).

Some of the various editions of Winifred's seven books

 

  • In the early 1930's John and Winifred Fortescue, now Sir John and Lady Fortescue, moved to Provence and there she wrote her famous and best selling book Perfume from Provence, and the sequel Sunset House.  Her autobiography, There's Rosemary, There's Rue, was first published in 1939, finally, after Sir John's death, Lady Fortescue wrote the full story of her life and most particularly of her meeting and marriage with John Fortescue. It is a fascinating nostalgic recreation of  another era, of her excitement as an actress before WWI, of her meeting with the man she was to marry, and of their home together in Windsor Castle during the reign of King George V and Queen Mary. Many famous names of the time drift across the pages which are warm, witty and a delight. Trampled Lilies continues her story including her escape from France and the Nazi's during WW II. Her three further books  are Mountain Madness, Beauty for Ashes and Laughter in Provence. These cover the period back in England until WWII ended, memories of holidays in the Alps and the the return to her home in France to resume life in the sunshine after the war.

 

  • Winifred Fortescue died in Opio, Provence, in April 1951. A fuller biography can be found on the Lady Fortescue page.

 

Enjoy this short colour film of the Promenade des Anglais and Port, Nice - 1938

 

1930's Nice Promenade des Anglais & Port

The Promenade des Anglais in its heyday - note the pier

The Promenade des Anglais in its heyday - note the pier

 

October - November 2017

  • Maureen Emerson's new book has had another change of name! The final name decided upon by the publisher is going to be 'Riviera Dreaming - Love and War on the Côte d'Azur', which does perhaps have a better ring to it. Work on editing is now under way and in conjunction with the publishers Maureen is selecting the images for inclusion. The book is due out in 2018. For more information visit www.rivieradreaming.co.uk

Riviera Dreaming - Love and War on the Côte d'Azur

'My new book is on the story of the American architect Barry Dierks, his partner Eric Sawyer,
and the stunning houses they built on the French Riviera in the 1920s and 1930s -
for those interesting clients who could afford them'.
Maureen Emerson

September 2017

  • Autumn is starting to creep into the south now with pleasantly warm days, the temperature is still in the 20's, but cooler evenings. The fires of the summer are all out and there are some wonderful evening sunsets to enjoy from the terrace.

Sunset looking towards the Esterels - C. Riley

Sunset looking towards the Esterels - C. Riley

August 2017

  • Coming soon - Spanish fan of the web site Mariela Pez Miana recently discovered some letters, unseen by the webmaster, held by a library in Newport RI, USA. These letters, in Winifred's strong handwriting, document her attempts to publish Perfume from Provence in the USA. There are about 7 letters in all, some of which await scanning but I am pleased to report that the library has agreed to supply copies and allow them to be displayed here on the site. Once sorted and in the correct order they will be available thanks to Mariella.

  • Slightly cooler in Fortescue country this week, about 29c/30c with fires still alight but some distance away. Two interesting photos of the region below. Fortunately not a fire this time but a spectacular sunrise - Provencal style.

Sunset over Tourettes du Chateau

Sunset over Tourettes du Chateau - Didier Gilli

Provencal sunrise over the house

Not a fire this time - spectacular Provencal sunrise over the house - Didier Gilli

  • 'Riviera' Have you come across this TV series recently screened on SKY TV? Lavishly styled in some beautiful locations the main property used for the series is in Grasse, not too far from the location of Winifred Fortescue's original home. What would she have made of this? To learn more and see some photos of the villa take a look at the article written by the webmasters daughter for a large property company. By the way, you can rent the villa if you have a deep pocket! Click here to read the article.

  • The fires in the south are now under control but the intense heat continues with the highest alert in force. Now the smoke has cleared there are some lovely evening sunsets from the garden towards the Esterel Mountains.

Sunset towards the Esterel Mountains

Sunset towards the Esterel Mountains - Didier Gilli

  • Sunny Bank Hospital Cannes. Did you by any chance listen to this 30 mins. programme on Radio 4 Extra recently? If you have not heard it before it is very interesting. Chris Morris explains how he found the torn, muddied remains of a diary in a Sussex ditch, which, when the pieces were reassembled, revealed the daily account of a young British woman who was trapped in Vichy, France, in 1944. But who was she and why was she there? Chris Morris, from the BBC, found scraps of a diary in a Sussex lane and traced the owner to Sunny Bank Hospital, Cannes. It also mentions Barry Dierks and Helen Vagliano, much researched by author Maureen Emerson. The programme was first broadcast back in 2000 and is available on line through the Radio 4 Extra website for about the next 21 days only. Click here to listen now! I have made a copy of the recording but doubt it will be possible to add it to the site due to copyright.

July 2017

  • 'Riviera Dreaming'. Maureen Emerson's new book has been accepted by a respected publisher and publication in hardback is anticipated in 2018. The original title of the book, 'Living and Loving on the Riviera' has now been changed and the new title is 'Riviera Dreaming - An American Architect on the Cote d'Azur'. The book is the story of the American architect Barry Dierks and the Englishman Eric Sawyer, his partner in business and in life, and particularly of some of the fascinating people who commissioned the stunning houses and gardens Barry designed on the French Riviera, with Eric as garden designer, during the 1920s and 1930s. Barry graduated in architecture from the Carnegie Institute of Technology in Pittsburgh in 1921, followed by studies at the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris. Eric had graduated as an engineer from the Royal School of Mines, London. They met in Paris and during their nightly visits to the Ritz Bar, in the post-war euphoria of Paris and where ‘English was the spoken language’ one of those they encountered was Somerset Maugham, a contact which led to Barry’s first commission, the complete remodelling of La Mauresque, Maugham’s villa on Cap Ferrat in 1926. For more information you can now visit www.rivieradreaming.co.uk

  • Update - the fires along the Riviera are still raging with fire fighters and the military from France and Italy together with Canadair water bombing aircraft working around the clock to control them. Our family in the hills behind Nice have been told to keep emergency bags by their door ready for evacuation at short notice. What a dreadful year for Provence!

Canadair dropping water

Canadair dropping water -  Gérard Joyon

  • Very hot and dry weather in the south last week caused a serious fire in the hills close to the Nice observatory. The area was evacuated as a precaution and our families home was at high risk. Canadair fire planes dropped water on the fire from about 4pm until it was finally brought under control at about 11.30pm. Fortunately the house was OK apart from smoke damage!

A Canadair arrives over the fire

A Canadair arrives over the fire

3 Canadairs dropping water on the house and surroundings

3 Canadair's dropping water on the house and surroundings

May & June 2017

  • Spanish fan of the web site Mariela Pez Miana has recently discovered a fascinating article that Winifred Fortescue wrote for the Aberdeen Press & Journal in 1930. Entitled 'How I Planned My Cottage Garden' it gives a good deal of information about how she created her beautiful garden at the Domaine. Click here to view.

April 2017

  • The beautiful garden originally created by Winifred Fortescue near Grasse, now the home of artist Valerie de Courcel, is open on certain dates in 2017. For full details, and how to book, visit the web site at www.valeriedecourcel.fr

The Domaine house & garden created by Winifred Fortescue

  • The wonderful metre gauge railway, the Chemin de Fer de Provence, will be running steam trains once again on Sunday's between May and September 2017. Part of the line, now closed, originally ran through Lady Fortescue's garden and olive groves at her home near Grasse. The lines runs all year round and operates between Nice and the spa town of Digne le Bains in the Alps. The complete journey takes approximately 3 hours in each direction but there are spectacular views as the line twists and turns through the mountain scenery. Many of the intermediate stops are well worth a visit and make for a much shorter journey. Visit www.trainprovence.com for full details and timetables.

The former CDP Station at Grasse - long since demolished

March 2017

  • An update on Maureen Emerson's eagerly awaited new book. Negotiations with a large publisher are ongoing and it looks very much as if the book will appear with a new title, as is often the case in the world of publishing! The current favourite to replace 'Living & Loving on the Riviera' is 'Riviera Dreaming: The Story of an American Architect on the Côte d’Azur'. It does have a nice ring to it but then so did the original! More information when known.

January & February 2017

  • January is a quiet month in the south with cool days and chilly nights of late. Towards the end of the month the hint of Spring can be detected in the air, flowers start to open and the Mimosa is almost in full bloom - another week or so to go! It's also the month when the carnival season gets underway, Villefranche -sur -Mer, Nice and Menton are already under preparation for this years events.

Nice in January sunshine seen from the chateau hill

Nice in January sunshine seen from the chateau hill

Flowers back in full bloom in January

Flowers back in full bloom in January

Mimosa in the garden almost fully out!

Mimosa in the garden almost fully out!

Oranges in the drive look nice but are a little sharp still!

Oranges in the drive look nice but are a little sharp still!

Festival and Carnival time is just a few days away

Festival and Carnival time is just a few days away!

October, November, December 2016

  • The end of the year is rapidly approaching and the webmaster has been busy tidying up many bits and pieces. The year ends with the good news that our friend, the author Maureen Emerson, has had her new book 'Living and Loving on the Riviera' accepted by a well known publisher and we should see it in print in the not too distant future.

  • The France Show returns from 27th - 29th January 2017 - don't miss it! Enjoy the best of France under one roof at Olympia, London.

  • Michael Nelson has had a new book published in October 2016, 'The French Riviera - a history'. It ranges from the Terra Amata in Nice, occupied from 380,000 years ago and one of the oldest inhabited pre­historic sites in the world, through wars and revolutions, to the establishment of the Silicon Valley of France in Sophia-Antipolis in 1974.

Michael shows the surprisingly cosmopolitan nature of the area in the early middle ages by his description of the finishing school run by Frankish kings in the 7th century where Siagrius, the ruler of the region, had studied and where the son of king Edwin of Northumbria in England was also sent.

Colour maps and plates illustrate the book and it is full of fascinating anecdotes. Examples are the loan of a guillotine by Nice to Grasse in the French Revolution and the occasion when Jean Moulin, the leader of the French Resistance in World War II, invited the Germans to the opening of an art gallery in Nice which he was using as a front.

Available now at amazon.co.uk or visit http://www.michaelnelsonbooks.com

September 2016

  • With heavy heart I report that one of the most frequent visitors to this website, Roger Jones from Texas, USA has passed away. Roger was a lovely man and often in touch with words of encouragement and enthusiasm. There are many entries from him in the guest book. Roger once said he only ever visited a web site once but when he found Perfume from Provence he kept coming back again and again - a true compliment. He will be missed very much both as a long distance friend and contributor. Condolences to Roger's family and may he rest in peace.

August 2016

High summer with two very busy bees at work on the yellow Buddleia

High summer with two very busy bees at work on the yellow Buddleia

June - July 2016

Devastating news from Nice overnight following the 14th July celebrations on the Promenade des Anglais. Our deepest sympathy to all those caught up in this terrible event. We have stood in that exact spot as a family many times and can only imagine what the relatives of the victims must be going through. For those of you that know the web master I can report that our family had not gone to the event last night and are all safe.

  • The website has recently been offered three of the original E. H. Shepard pencil drawings from Winifred's first book, Perfume from Provence. They are in excellent condition but they are also understandably expensive, in the region of £3000.00UK or $3900.00US. It would be wonderful to secure these sketches which could be displayed and perhaps eventually left to the Shepard archive. The prints are currently in the USA. The webmaster is looking into ways of trying to fund the purchase - more information when available.

  • The webmaster recently underwent a spell in hospital so apologies to anyone who has been in touch and not had an immediate reply! Now home again, he hopes to be back up to full speed soon.

May 2016

  • The beautiful garden originally created by Winifred Fortescue near Grasse, now the home of artist Valerie de Courcel, is open on certain dates in 2016. For full details, and how to book, visit the web site at www.valeriedecourcel.fr

Lady Fortescue's original garden near Grasse

  • The wonderful metre gauge railway, the Chemin de Fer de Provence, will be running steam trains once again on Sunday's between May and September 2016. Part of the line, now closed, originally ran through Lady Fortescue's garden and olive groves at her home near Grasse. The lines runs all year round and operates between Nice and the spa town of Digne le Bains in the Alps. The complete journey takes approximately 3 hours in each direction but there are spectacular views as the line twists and turns through the mountain scenery. Many of the intermediate stops are well worth a visit and make for a much shorter journey. Visit www.trainprovence.com for full details and timetables.

Chemin de Fer de Provence

April 2016

  • Living and Loving on the Riviera - Maureen Emerson. Maureen has completed the writing of her new book and has very kindly made the first chapter available for us to read on line. Visit the website at www.livingandlovingontheriviera.co.uk to be enthralled now! Don't forget to watch the video of Maureen talking about her book here on the site too. Click here.

  • Maureen Emerson's new book, 'Living and Loving on the Riviera' is now finished, from a writers perspective, and is now out with a number of publishers for their consideration. We really hope Maureen receives a speedy acceptance after all the effort she has put into it.

Port of Nice Springtime

Port of Nice Springtime

March 2016

Villefranche-sur-Mer, see below!

Villefranche-sur-Mer, see below!

February 2016

  • Carnival Season! The carnival season is getting under way in Fortescue country. Nice carnival starts on the 13th February and on the 15th is the Combat Naval Fleuri at Villefranche-sur-Mer. These carnivals keep with their tradition and are much the same as they would have been in Winifred's time in the south.

Carnival season 2016

  • For any motoring enthusiasts, you might like to know that the Historic Monte-Carlo Rally, featuring a wonderful collection of classic vehicles, is taking place in Fortescue country between the 27th January and 3rd February. It ends on the 3rd of February, as always, in Monte Carlo. For full details click here!

Rallye Monte-Carlo Historique 27th Jan to 3rd Feb 2016

Rallye Monte-Carlo Historique 27th Jan to 3rd Feb 2016

Rallye Monte-Carlo Historique 27th Jan to 3rd Feb 2016

Rallye Monte-Carlo Historique 27th Jan to 3rd Feb 2016

January 2016

  • The France Show returns from 29-31 January 2016 - don't miss it! Enjoy the best of France under one roof at Olympia, London.

  • The weather in the south has been very mild and the Mimosa is starting to flower already!

Mimosa in early January!

Mimosa in Nice early January!

Looking towards Nice Airport in the January sunshine

Looking towards Nice Airport in the January sunshine

Oranges in January outside Nice theatre

Oranges in January outside Nice theatre

January sunset over the airport towards Cannes

January sunset over the airport towards Cannes

Links to Archives are at bottom of page

 I hope you enjoy browsing the pages, there are now over 100!
Remember to bookmark the site and come back often.

Keep in touch with the news from France!

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French Translation
French
Version

 

Transworld Books
Visit this publishers web site

 

Random House Books
Random House Books

 

Summersdale Publishing
Visit this publishers web site

 

English Book Centre, Valbonne
English Book
Centre Valbonne

 

Fragonard Perfumes
For Perfume from Grasse

 

Opio Village Site
Opio Village

 

Grasse Ville Site
Grasse Ville

 

 Grasse webcam live
Live Webcam
at Grasse

 

Le Tour Shop
Visit the
tour 2016

 

villOrama
Find a town or village

 

LINKS TO OUR FAVOURITE CHARITIES

Cancer Research UK Site
Cancer Research UK

 

Christian Aid Site
Christian Aid

 

Children's Society Site
The Children’s
Society

The Children's Society

 

BBC Children in Need
Children in Need

 

 Discount Hotel Reservation - HotelClub

  Vieux Ville, Grasse
Grasse

  La Cascade du Chateau, Vieux Nice. (Atelier Contre-Jour, Peinture sur bois, aquarelles, Vieux Nice)
Nice

  Vieux Ville, Nice
Nice

  Poster from Nice Carnival 1929

Cote d'Azur
en fete events all year round


     Cypress tress at the entrance to The Domaine, by E H Shepard    

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Updated - 24 Nov 2017 01:50