add an entry to the visitors book or just have a look below at
what other people have said.
Your entry will be received at the site and
published as soon as possible.
Good afternoon! So far I have read
Perfume from Provence (in Dutch), Sunset House, There's Rosemary
there's rue, and Trampled Lilies (last 3 in English). I absolutely
loved them! I would like to read the other books: Mountain Madness,
Beauty for Ashes, and Laughter in Provence. I'm rather interested in
the content than whether the books look nice. As long as it's
legible. And price is also an issue. Can you help? Kind regards,
Irene (in The Netherlands).
P.S. I also read Escape to
Provence, loved that too. I downloaded it from Amazon, but I didn't
get the pictures, only text.
Dear Irene, as arranged, all 3 books are on their way to you.
Hope you enjoy reading them over the summer - Peter, Webmaster.
Hello again, co-fans of
Winifred! I am very curious about jessamine, the fragrant plant
that, according to Winifred, the peasants picked for the perfume
factories. Does anyone know about it? Has it got another name?
All kinds of pictures appear on Google when I look for it, even
of the common jasmine...
Dear Mariela, it is the Jasmine flower, grown for many years in
the fields around Grasse and so well loved there is actually a
Jasmine Festival held each summer in Grasse. Interestingly,
of the Jasmine and May roses that go into Chanel No 5 are grown
in protected fields around Grasse. Chanel doesn’t use flowers
grown anywhere else! Here is a link to an article about the
festival. If you Google Jasmine Grasse you will a find a lot
Having just discovered Perfume from provence in Bromley House
I enjoyed it so much I took out all the rest and found your website
which I look forward to investigating.
Dear Ian, many thanks for your email and welcome to the web
site! I’m so glad you enjoyed the book(s) and that you were able to
find them! What a great library it is indeed. I remember visiting
when my son & daughter were at Nottingham University in the late
90’s and early 00’s!
If you get hooked I also thoroughly recommend Maureen Emerson’s book
‘Escape to Provence’, still available to purchase but copies running
low. This took her 6 years to research before she starting writing.
It's the full story of Winifred and Elisabeth and all the other
amazing people in their lives. You can read more at
Thanks again for visiting and do keep in touch. If you want to
purchase your own copies I usually have some available. - Peter,
I love Winifred's books, and also her story. I
just wanted to share the fact that, while using the Project
Gutenberg website, I accidentally came across a lady who, in my
opinion, must have been as charming and interesting as Winifred. For
those who want to find out about her, her name was Flora Klickmann.
Thank you very much Mariela for bringing this to our attention;
I for one had certainly not come across her before but intend to
find out more about her. She looks to have a lot in common with WF!
- Peter, Webmaster.
Emily Flora Klickmann (26
January 1867 – 20 November 1958) was an English journalist, author
and editor. She was the second editor of the Girl's Own Paper, but
became best known for her Flower-Patch series of books of anecdotes,
autobiography and nature description.
It is with a heavy heart, and I am
sure you know, that one of your most loyal followers has passed
away. Roger Jones commented from time to time as he loved the web
site as I do. May he RIP, what a nice man he was.
Hope you are doing well.
I'm really sorry to receive the news of
Roger's death. He was a lovely man and often in touch with words of
encouragement and enthusiasm. The internet is an amazing tool
enabling long distance friendships and although we never met in
person we have lost a dear friend - Peter, Webmaster.
Love this website and finally
putting a note here, as I just did an internet search and a
lovely Australian newspaper article - June 26, 1945 - about
Peggy's fundraising for the Elizabeth Starr Memorial Fund came
up on our National Library website which you and others might
Kate, many thanks for your email and welcome to the web site, so
glad you like it. Thanks for the link too, fascinating, I'm
going to make a copy of it. There were similar articles in the
UK at the time but I hadn’t seen that one before so thanks
again - Peter, Webmaster
I have been enjoying "Sunset
House" which I found by chance in a second hand book stall at
the Market in Scarborough. I didn't know anything about Winifred
but have learned a lot with your website. I am also intrigued by
the identity of lady Fortescue's friend, "Madmoiselle". Is it
known who she was? Thanks for such an interesting site!
Mariela (from Spain)
Mariela, Thanks for your email and welcome to the website! Well
done in finding a copy of that book. She wrote 7 in total and
that is the second one. Mademoiselle was an American, her name
being Elisabeth Parish Starr. She was a close friend of
Winifred’s and lived in the chateau just down the hill. They had
all sorts of adventures together after Winifred lost her
husband. They were also responsible for setting up the ‘foyers’
in the mountains for the soldiers in WWI. There is a page on the
site with info and photos of her, see the link
For a real in depth view of their life in Provence I recommend a
book called ‘Escape to Provence’ by Maureen Emerson. Maureen did
8 years of research into Winifred & Elisabeth before writing it
and you can buy it direct from the author at
If you decide to read the other 6 books by
Winifred and have trouble finding them do let me know -
Lance, Scunthorpe, Lincs, UK,
22nd July 2015
Hello, I have been meaning to
write to this site for some years and now I have got round to
I came across "Perfume from
Provence" in a second hand bookshop around the time of the Peter
Mayle book (which I hated incidentally). I bought it simply
because of the illustrations by E H Shepard. When I read it, I
loved it and then when some of her other books were
re-published, I read those and loved those. In fact I think the
moving description of her husband's death in "There's Rosemary,
There's Rue" is the best piece of writing on that subject that
has ever been written.
I greatly enjoy your web-site
and I commend you for helping to keep this fine writer in print
and available. I have though, always wondered why the last three
books have not been reprinted. Are they rather second division?
Dear Lance, many thanks for your email and
welcome to the website. Thank you also for the kind comments,
it’s been great fun searching out the information over the years
and there is still much more to come. I'm fortunate in having a
daughter living in Nice for the last 15 years or so which is a
handy base for researching!
books, it is a mystery why the others were never re-printed.
They are certainly as good as the first four which were
published by Black Swan, part of Transworld. I think someone saw
an opportunity when the Peter Mayle books took off in the 90’s
but perhaps as his books dropped off a bit they didn’t think it
was worth doing the others. Pity as ‘Laughter in Provence’, her
final book was only printed twice and is hard to find although I
usually have copies of all seven available - Peter, Webmaster.
Thank you for this site: l
have just discovered Lady Fortescue via a one dollar book from
the op shop...and I am inspired
Dear Jacky, thanks very much for your
email and welcome to the website. So glad you enjoyed the first
book, hope you get hooked and read the other 6. Great to know
there are still people discovering her wonderful stories, there
is much more to come on the web site as soon as time permits so
keep an eye on it - Peter, Webmaster.
Dear Peter, It has been way
too long since I commented on your wonderful web site. How we
all get sidetracked with things! I pulled out Mountain Madness
again and am enjoying it so much. Just the description of all
the flowers in the Alps makes me so wish to go to see them. I
wonder if the Bergerie still stands?
I am so eager for Maureen's
new book too, I am sure it will be well worth the wait.
Enjoyed the latest photos
Rhona suppiled so much.
Kindest Regards, Doris
Lovely to hear from you Doris and thanks for the comments. As
far as I know the Bergerie is still standing, or it certainly
was in recent years. The flowers are lovely in the Spring. Like
you, I eagerly await the new book by Maureen Emerson, (http://www.livingandlovingontheriviera.co.uk/).
Rhona did a good job with the grave and the photo and in recent
weeks Maureen & Phillip have given it a wash and brush up. I
will add some photos as soon as possible. I have also come
across a couple of very interesting 'Cintra' items and will be
adding these too. We will be down in 'Fortescue' country in a
week or so I will do some
updating while we are there! - Peter, Webmaster
Very sad that
Winifred Fortescue and Elizabeth Star are unknown to the local
French people of Opio. They do not remember that these two women
lived in their village, and gave so much to help others.
Welcome Maureen, yes it is sad but the Mayor of Opio is aware
thanks to the efforts of Maureen Emerson who, together with her
husband, recently cleaned the two graves. It is hoped that the
lettering on the graves can be restored in the not too distant
future - Peter, Webmaster.
Trying to find out more about 'Dusty Pages' written by Joyce
Dear Sally, welcome to the website and thanks for your
email. 'Dusty Pages' was written and self published by Joyce
Margaret Fortescue (Carew), under her married name in 1972/1973.
It is the story of two families and their homes, Castle Hill,
Clovelly and Moyles Court in Hants. Castle Hill is still the
Fortescue family seat and I think the Fane family owned Moyles
Court. It has 83 pages. I must admit I have not read ‘Dusty
Pages’ but there is presently a first edition for sale by
Rothwell & Dunworth booksellers as £8.50. The link below should
take you to the page if interested.
Hope that helps a bit! - Peter, Webmaster
Grandfather past away in February. He was a Major in the army
and was bought up in India as his father before him was also
high up In command of the Indian army. His mother was a vicars
daughter. He also was a Fortescue! In one of the last letters he
wrote me he said this "My memory is awful but this can be good
news as you forget the bad news and you live in a pleasant and
perfumed rose garden." He went on to say "...that reminds me of
a book I once read by a Fortescue 'Perfume from Provence', a
very good read." To continue in my grandfathers footsteps I am
about to embark on reading it my self!
Dear Sarah, many thanks for your email and welcome to the
website! What an interesting story, I wonder which branch of the
family he was from? There is a wonderful website created by and
Australian, Don Edge, where you can trace all Fortescue’s! Link
below - Peter, Webmaster.
Peter, Your wonderful website
constantly outdoes itself - the link to the Chris Morris hunt
for the 'Diary Writer' is a must listen. Fascinating! Thank you
and Best Wishes from Texas!
are too kind! I'm really glad you enjoyed it. I have made a
recording of it!
Did you by
any chance listen to this 30 mins. programme on Radio 4
Extra yesterday? If you have not heard it before it is a
MUST. Chris Morris from the BBC found scraps of a diary in a
Sussex lane and traced the owner to Sunny Bank Hospital! It
also mentions Barry Dierks and Helen Vagliano in the
programme too. The programme was first broadcast back in
2000 and is available on line through the Radio 4 Extra website for about the next 7 days only. Click
here to listen now!
- Peter, Webmaster.
I have just finished reading 'Perfume from
Provence'. I picked up the book in a second hand book shop in
Robin Hood's Bay. I really enjoyed the book and have ordered
'Sunset House' from Abe to allow me to continue following Lady
Fortescue's amazing story.
to the site Richard, enjoy Sunset House and possibly the other 5
books! - Peter, Webmaster
I have read three of Winifred Fortescue's books
over the last few years and since we now have a small house down
here, spent a day last week visiting Opio and the surrounding
area. I found her grave, which, apart from the little Rosemary
bush, is sadly neglected, with ivy growing over the little
headstone, which obscured some of the text. I felt very sad
about this. Is it not possible for the grave to be looked after
locally? She was, after all, a special lady and she loved the
French people so much. I would like to have had the time to find
where Fort Escu was and also the Castello. I also lived near
Wakehurst Place and knew where Stonehurst was, so I find it all
very evocative - especially as I also have two little black
Welcome to the site Barbara and thanks for your message. There
are plans, (we hope), to improve the graves later in the year,
probably not before November though. Elisabeth Starr's grave was
restored and gravelled but one simply can’t read her name or
facts. Winifred and Caroline Paget designed it. We hope to get
the lettering re-cut and that fact added too - Peter, Webmaster.
I have had the opportunity to
read Maureen Emerson's new book, COURAGE: THE STORY OF TWO YOUNG
AMERICANS IN THE GREAT WAR. This is such a great read and done
in the author's unique style. All of us who visit your terrific
site are fans of that special time and place and this story very
much adds a new dimension to our interest. I really recommend a
Kindle download - it is incredibly inexpensive for such an
interesting and quick read.
Best wishes from Texas,
Thanks Gary, I agree! - Peter, Webmaster
Peter, It is once again so
good to drop in and see this site, as beautiful as always. Thank
you so much for your outstanding dedication to Winifred's
Best Wishes From Texas,
Thanks very much indeed Gary - visits from you and other fans
keep the site alive! - Best wishes, Peter, Webmaster
Once again I visited Nice last
week, the weather was just right mild and sunny. Also went to
Cannes first time and Monaco again, I was with family members
and was their first visit to these parts , I didn't get to Opio
but hope to visit next year as they want to return and will be
doing that trip to Grasse and Opio next time. A couple was
staying at our Hotel L'Oasis from Devon and was interested to
hear about Winifred , so I think there will be two new recruits
in the near future !!! I must say the train station was near by
and an excellent way to travel.
Best Wishes, Vicky.
Great to hear from you again Vicky, glad you had a nice time and
well done with the new recruits! - Peter, Webmaster
'Perfume from Provence' - discovered in my late Mother's
library. We own a little English narrow boat on the Canal du
Midi and keep a collection of books related to Southern France
on board. This book is quite enchanting; you can almost smell
the flowers and the locals come alive in the pages. Lady
Fortescue's timeless writing, her love of and delight in rural
France and her perceptive observations of emotions, people and
places make for compulsive reading.
Welcome to the site Lorna, thanks for the great comments -
So pleased to stumble upon
this site. Lent my Perfume From Provence and Sunset house to a
friend and never saw them again. Just been reading There's
Rosemary etc and will be looking to replace my lost copies. Will
definitely be returning to this site.
Welcome to the site Anita, if you need help locating books do
get in touch - Peter, Webmaster
Peter, It is always good to
check in and see your site alive and kicking.
Great to hear from you, yes the site is still going and there is
still lots more to come as soon as time permits - Peter,
Rediscovered this old book in
my collection, There's Rosemary..There's Rue..1941. I think I
purchased it from a thrift store to use as decor and was now
thinking of selling it because it is signed by someone and I was
needing the money...but !! After finding your website I want to
read it as you have roused my interest in this lovely woman.
Thanks for the eye opener!
That's great to hear Barbara, if you need help finding the other
books get in touch - Peter, Webmaster.
Hi Peter, just a catch up with news of my trip to
Normandy and Brittany, unfortunately we had a lot of problems
with the coach tour, it was quite a whirl wind visit although we
visited the places on the itinerary we didn't have enough time
to spend there. The weather was brilliant and the scenery
beautiful and I did introduce some people to the story of
Winifred Fortescue. I have written to the tour company because I
think they crammed to much in for just a long weekend trip but
nevertheless St Malo for me was the highlight !! Best Wishes,
Glad you enjoyed the locations and St. Malo in particular -
I am absolutely fascinated by this lady and
wanted to find out more about her life. My first book Perfume
from Provence purchased from a wonderful bookshop in Aldeburgh,
Suffolk captivated me making me hungry to purchase more books.
The Aldeburgh Bookshop located two further books There's
Rosemary, There's Rue and Sunset House. Since purchasing them I
have read them over and over again. Since coming across your
website I have discovered more, what a wonderful site. I am now
in search of the other books she has written, hungry to learn
more, but there is one question I would like to ask what was the
illness she suffered all those years and the treatment she
Welcome to the web site Elaine and thanks for the kind comments,
I have sent you a mail with more information and remember to get
in touch if you are looking for copies of any of the books to
complete your set. - Peter, Webmaster.
Next month I'm going to Mont
St Michel, St Malo, Deauville, Trouville, Honfleur Concale. It
will be interesting to see the port of St Malo as this is where
Winifred fled to on the last boat out to England as the War held
its grip in France. I think I read somewhere that there was a
toy museum in St Malo , have you heard of this ??
Best Wishes to you and your family !!! Vicky.
Hi Vicky, I don't know the toy museum personally but have had
many holidays in all those places. When in St. Malo visit the
Hotel d'Universe in the cobbled square just inside the old city.
Here Winifred & John stayed on holiday and Winifred returned
there when trying to escape on the last boat out of St. Malo as
the war raged all round her. Have a lovely time - Peter,
I am reading an old Book Club
copy of P from P with delightful illustrations by E H Shepard
bought at an Oxfam book sale. Found this site by Googling Lord
Fortescue and so pleased to find out so much about her.
Welcome to the web site Dorothy, you did well to find a copy in
a charity shop. If you get hooked there are seven books in all
and I recommend Maureen Emerson's 'Escape to Provence', the true
story of Winifred Fortescue and Elisabeth
Starr. Available direct from Maureen at
www.maureenemerson.co.uk - Peter, Webmaster.
Hello Peter, I see I last
visited your wonderful website about my great-aunt, on 18th
January 2010; and am always glad to see it again! I trust you
are keeping well. I would just like to mention that I am
planning to write a book myself; for reasons that may become
apparent later. I seem to have located a London publisher, and I
am sure you won't mind me mentioning this. If it prints, you can
maybe consider a cross-reference to it! Howard Grattan
Good to hear from you again and delighted to provide publicity
for the book - Peter, Webmaster.
Brilliant! What a wonderful lady, I wish I
could have met her and discovered her work many years ago. Thank
you for keeping such an excellent record for all to share.
Many thanks Keith, hope you enjoy all the books - Peter,
I have recently been setting
up an online family photo album, part of which contains a period
of my life with the Kenya Air Force (Seconded from the RAF) from
1965 to 1968. I remember racing a similar car at Nakuru during
this period and after further research I found it was the very
same car featured in Winifred Fortescue's book, 'Laughter in
I have since been in touch
with the current owner, Chris Berens, and have chatted with him
over the phone this week. The more I look into the history of
this grand car the more exciting it becomes. I feel very
privileged to have played a small part in it's life so decided
to send this message as a 'hello'.
Have been browsing around your
site and found it extremely enlightening so it looks like I will
have to buy a copy of the book and go back in time.
What a great story Roger and if you need any help with books let
me know - Peter, Webmaster.
As a collector of women's travel writing I
have just bought Beauty for Ashes. Thank goodness for the
internet as I was fascinated to read about the author on your
website. What an interesting woman, a role model for a 21st
century woman in her fifties!
Welcome to the site, completely agree with you. Do consider
getting the rest of her books and also Maureen Emerson's 'Escape
to Provence', the true story of Winifred Fortescue and Elisabeth
Starr. Available direct from Maureen at
www.maureenemerson.co.uk - Peter, Webmaster.
My recent trip to the French
Riviera was a dream come true, doing this in October was the
right time as the weather was lovely and the places we visited
were quiet. The journey was long by coach (two days out and two
days back) but we had plenty of comfort stops and the service of
a courier. Our Hotel was near Grasse and so on our free day we
cought the local bus into Grasse (I'm afraid I didn't make it to
Opio ) Our visits were to Menton, Nice, MonteCarlo, Port Grimaud
and St. Tropez calling at Paris on the return journey. Wonderful
Thank you Peter for your help prior to the trip !!
So glad you enjoyed the visit, good timing too as September was
very hot and November is now cooler and wet! - Peter, Webmaster.
Sorry but I just forgot to
mention that I took along the story of Winifred and John
Fortescue which appeared in the France magazine in 1996. I
loaned the magazine to various people who travelled with us and
who hadn't heard of Winifred and Sir John even our driver was
interested. So I am pleased that I have past this unique story
of two very special people on to others.
Even better - well done for spreading the word! - Peter.
Peter, I'm always happy to
check in and discover this wonderful site. Keep it going!
Best wishes from Texas!
Good to hear from you Roger, than you - Peter, Webmaster.
Bombs, flowers, France,
England - what more could anyone want? I enjoyed finding and
visiting this site.
Glad you enjoyed it and welcome - Peter, Webmaster.
Looking for something
"different" in the library where I live I came across this
beautiful story, Perfume from Provence, in a section of "very
old" books. "Different" meant "no sex and violence". I am now
"hooked" and look forward to meeting Lady Fortescue again.
A very warm welcome Malcolm, you will will pleased to know there
are 7 books in total and then the new book 'Escape to Provence'
by Maureen Emerson which gives a detailed account of the lives
of Winifred Fortescue and Elisabeth star. Visit
www.maureenemerson.co.uk - Peter, Webmaster.
I have just ready in the
newspaper today that Prince William spent his stag weekend at
Hartland Abbey in Devon ( Winifred and John Fortescue spent
their honeymoon here and years later Winifred spent a lot of
time here living in a caravan on the estate ) I'm sure she would
have really been amused to know William and friends dabbled in a
bit of surfing in the secluded cove called Speke's Mill. I spent
a week in Hartland Village a few years ago and loved Hartland
Abbey and its beautiful gardens.
How interesting and well spotted. I remember your visit and the
weather conditions! - Peter, Webmaster.
Wow !!!!! I have just watched the 1930's film
on the French Riviera and I really enjoyed seeing all the people
and the fashions of that era. I thought the filming of the Nice
carnival was great, I'll have to try to make it one day !!
Glad you enjoyed it Vicky. The carnival is still very impressive
with months of work going into preparing the floats and
costumes, well worth a visit - Peter, Webmaster.
It's just occurred to me that
in a few weeks' time it will be 60 years since Lady Fortescue
passed away. I would love to visit her former home in Provence
on the date. Too much work on at the moment to do that but one
day I hope!
I still remain enthralled by
her writing, sometimes I just pick up one of her books and look
for a favourite passage. This morning I looked in Perfume From
Provence for the part where she is visited by Mme Hippolyte and
walks 'voluntarily' into the trap the wily old lady has set for
her, and agrees to allow her car to be used as the bride's car.
A great time to visit Alan, Spring is now getting well under way in
the south and carnival season has just taken place along the riviera.
A couple of shots below from this weekend, the port of Nice in
the sunshine and a Mimosa tree! Keep the books alive! - Peter, Webmaster.
A long-standing enthusiast. I have everything
she wrote, though sadly only 'Laughter in Provence' has its dust
jacket. I also own a copy of Sir John's 'Story of a red deer.'
Great to hear from you and welcome to the site - Peter,
Who would have thought that picking up Perfume
from Provence in a B&B at Great Malvern, and a Sunbeam motorcycle
website would lead me back to Winifred Fortescue via Jan & Cora
Gordon! If I can get this far then next may come another of her
books to read and enjoy.
Thank you for this website. John Fowler.
Welcome John, great story! Any problems obtaining book two,
Sunset House, let me know - Peter, Webmaster.
Hi Peter, Just been reading
your latest October news letter about Winifred's ''Cintra''
dress making business which seemed very successful and I have
often wondered why any of these beautiful gowns didn't survive.
I guess they may have been turned into other clothes during the
war as material would be in short supply but it would be great
if one of the garments turned up after perhaps being stored away
in someone's attic !!!
We live in the constant hope that one day somewhere something
with a Cintra label will surface! - Peter, Webmaster.
Milicent Fortescue and
Elisabeth Parish Starr were friends with Lucy Hoyle who was
married to Dr. E. Petrie Hoyle. The reason I am writing this is
that we have a very interesting book that was owned by Dr.
Petrie Hoyle and are trying to find out if there are any living
decendants. Can anyone help me on my quest? Thanking you in
advance for any information that you can give me. Yours, Wendy.
Maureen Emerson will be in touch with you and have a look at
the Fortescue genealogy
- Peter, Webmaster.
Welcome to the site, Christine! Immediately get a copy of Maureen Emerson's book,
'Escape to Provence'.
Here here - Peter, Webmaster.
is an absolute delight to find likeminded people who love
this wonderful writer. I thought I was alone!
day I found The Admiral's House in Hampstead, I have
wondered what her fate was when the
war was so close to
her in France.
haven't had an opportunity yet to find the Domaine but I
shall one day. It is such a relief to know that
survived the war and was so loved.
Welcome to the site Christine, so glad you found it, keep in
touch - Peter, Webmaster.
Hi Peter and everyone
My previous post of 29 June
was meant to contain more than just 'good morning' but the rest
I mentioned in another post a friend reading
Perfume from Provence and becoming hooked. He's now moved back
to the UK and has just told me he was in a charity shop and was
amazed to find there a very old (1943) copy of Mountain Madness!
This is a real find because that was one of
the books that was not reprinted in the 1990s. Of course he
quickly snapped it up! This is almost exactly the way I found
Beauty for Ashes.
Thanks for the update Alan, all now clear! - Peter, Webmaster.
You're still going strong, Peter. Good! Maureen is doing well, also. Good!
Best wishes to you and all members!
Thanks very much Roger, hoping to add some more info soon - Peter, Webmaster.
You'll love them all Patsy. I even
enjoyed hunting the out-of-print ones down. Very exciting to just
happen to find one in a second hand bookshop!
Quite so Alan and I hope to make some available on the site soon - Peter, Webmaster.
One of our guests left Perfume
from Provence with us, (an early edition), which I loved and now
leave for all our visitors to read - SO much better than the
"other" book on Provence! I can't wait to read the other books
from Lady Fortescue.
Welcome to the site Patsy, another six great books to read yet!
- Peter, Webmaster.
So good to see this site
Thanks Roger, will be adding some more items as soon as possible
- Peter, Webmaster.
Wishing you a very belated happy new year; I have just revisited
the website and it truly has gone from strength to strength.
Last time I was down in Opio I replanted some rue on the grave
so I hope this one stays! Keep up the good work.
Great to hear from you - more to come this year on the site -
A friend of mine lent me 6 of
Winifred's books to read. I am loving them, what a treasure to
find this website. The images of the Domaine and Sunset House
A very warm welcome to the site Paula and thanks for the kind
remarks - Peter, Webmsater.
Howard Grattan, Location,
Sussex, UK, 18th January 2010
Good to see that my Great-Aunt's book are still selling! I
shall refer them to a Chinese friend; who has just visited the
Great to hear from you Howard, we keep spreading the word! -
I have an early edition of
Perfume from Provence that I don't see on your site. It's
Houghton Mifflin Company, 1937. Though it states "Boston and
New York" above the publisher, on the next page it says "Printed
in Great Britain." The dust jacket cover is similar to your
first two dust jacket pictures, but the heart is in red, and the
background of the woman and man has red tones. Both the book
and dust jacket are in excellent condition. The dust jacket has
a brodart cover and is price clipped. Do you know what edition
They seem to be going around
the $100 mark. I was wondering if you had a sense of what this
book is worth, and also, if you have a recommendation for the
best way to sell it (other than ebay). Is there a place on your
site to sell it, or do you know anyone who would be interested?
I appreciate your time and
Thanks for your message Ellen, the price seems a bit high - I
will do some research after Christmas and get back to you.
Sounds like an unusual copy and may be of interest to other fans
of WF - Peter, Webmaster.
I can claim a new recruit to
our ranks! A friend of mine had heard me talking about nLady
Fortescue books and bought one of the reissued copies of Perfume
from Provence. As I predicted, he's hooked! He loves the book
and was trying not to read it too fast so he could enjoy it for
longer. There will be no stopping him now. He wants to read all
her books, so as he lives abroad I\'m taking on the job of
finding the remaining six. He could borrow mine of course, bur
would I ever get them back??!!!
Well done Alan! - Peter, Webmaster
Thank you for
this lovely website - I first read Winifred Fortescue's memoirs
several years ago, and have just come back for another reading.
This website is a great resource to find - so good to know that
this remarkable woman isn't being forgotten.
Thanks for the kind comments Nicole and welcome to the site.
Have a look at the 'Escape to
Provence' page. Maureen Emerson's books contains masses of
information on Winifred and her freinds. - Peter, Webmaster.
I've just started reading
Escape to Provence which a friend bought for me and it's
already fascinating to learn more about both ladies. It must
then be time to re-read all Lady Fortescue's books! I often
think that if someone had told her that more than 50 years after
her death, people would be avidly reading her books and chatting
about her on something called the internet, she'd have thought
that person was completely mad. But she lives on through her
Glad you are enjoying E to P, a great book. Totally agree with
your comments - Peter, Webmaster.
So very much appreciate all the
new photos, especially of Ramatuelle, as I had just been
re-reading Sunset House and their visit to the cottages.
Knowing it takes a lot of time to
do all this, please know it's greatly enjoyed by me.
Thanks Doris, you are very welcome - Peter, Webmaster.
One thing I meant to mention:
Visitors to this site are readers. I suggest everyone visit
Shelfari and Library Thing - two online bookshelves where
members can store their books. One of the many advantages is
discovering who has the same reading interests. Cross
referencing is automatic and member interaction is common. I am
lazy enough so that I have entered only a hundred and fifty or
so titles. Some members have entered thousands. It's fun to be
one of only a couple of people to have a rare book listed and
then chat with that person about how that came about. I actually
wound up chatting with a relative I never knew I had a couple of
years ago. Anyway, another way to pass time when one is of a
Best from Texas,
Sounds interesting, I will try it! - Peter, Webmaster.
Every time I return to your
site I find something new and fun. I couldn't agree more with
Doris. It seems I am settled in once again and intend to read
Lady Fortescue's books for the umpteenth time. Thank you for
keeping this great memory alive.
Thank you for the kind comments and support - Peter, Webmaster.
BRAVO! I am so pleased this
article came to light, praising the work so many of us love and
admire of Lady Fortescue's. I am just now re-reading SUNSET
HOUSE, I never tire of her books and just so wish she lived
still! I am sure there are many who feel that way.
Thank you - Peter, Webmaster.
Visitors will recall that
Winifred Fortescue's original book, Perfume from Provence, was
re-published by Summersdale in May this year, nearly 75 years
after it first appeared. That achievement gives an idea of how
popular she was and still is! Shortly after the new edition was
released a review by Val Hennessey appeared in the national
press, (the Daily Mail actually), which was somewhat scathing in
its content. Maureen Emerson, author of 'Escape to Provence',
wrote a particularly good response which can be viewed in the
Mathew Kneale, Whtibread prize
winning author, paints a much more accurate picture of Winifred
Fortescue in his article in the Financial Times of
Saturday 29th August 2009 entitled The idyll memoir.
here to read the article.
A letter written to a national
newspaper in 1951 after Winifred Fortescue had died has recently
come to light. It is unsigned but it speaks for itself and
reflects the way many people viewed and still do view Winifred
Fortescue. It provides the perfect foil to the review. It is
reproduced for you to read below.
correspondent writes: —
To her host
of admirers both in this country and in France, Lady
Fortescue's death will have come as a personal loss and not
least to those about whom she wrote, for all found in her a
warm heart and generous mind. This charming writer's books
are well known, but possibly Perfume from Provence takes
pride of place with many thousands of Lady Fortescue's
Ashes perhaps reveals best her gay and gallant spirit,
accompanied always by a vivid imagination which transcended
everything which came her way. However simple the narrative
it reflects the writer in a marked degree by its
spontaneity, enthusiasm, gaiety, and sympathy.
awareness of the needs of others, especially those of her
beloved Provence, invariably followed up by constructive
action, characterized Lady Fortescue's whole life and we can
but echo her halting, though heartfelt, expression of
gratitude to Margharita for loving service, "Comment vous
remercier ? "
I am looking forward to the new
photos when you have time to get them on. Never get enough of Lady
Fortescue and her surroundings, friends, etc.
to hear from you Doris, working on new pages at the moment - Peter,
I have just returned from a
holiday in Cagnes Sur Mer, I have read and loved all Winifred
Fortescues books and I persuaded my son to drive my husband and I to
Opio, the temperature was 36 degrees and as we are in our 70's it
was quite an ordeal searching the cemetery. At last we found her, a
sad little grave I thought, but the rosemary bush flourished on it
and I wished I could have pruned the rose that is there and bought
some flowers, next year we will. We couldn't find the house, in the
town hall they showed it to us right up on the mountain, and the
young man in the office called her a saint which was very touching.
Just thought you might like to
know our little story.
So glad you found the village and grave Jocelyn, thanks for letting
us know - Peter, Webmaster.
Just read Perfume
from Provence. Wonderful. Must now read more.
Welcome to the site David, 6 more books to go! - Peter, Webmaster.
I visited Fort
France in April as part of a group from the Mediterranean Garden
Society and had the pleasure of being shown round by the owner
Valerie de Courcel. It is a really charming garden with an
artist's flair for colour. I attach a few photos.
The talk by
Maureen Emerson yesterday was excellent, most interesting and I
took the opportunity to buy 'Escape to Provence'.
Thanks Guy, lovely pictures. Glad you enjoyed the talk at
Haywards Heath, should have made yourself known! It was a sell
out, 60 is the maximum permitted for such events. - Peter,
Is anyone going to the talk at
Haywards Heath Library on 17 July? I'm hoping to, work permitting.
It's a long way from where I live but I'm sure will be well worth
Thanks for the message Alan, I certainly hope to be there and am
spreading the word! - Peter, Webmaster.
I was expecting guests and, in rearranging a selection of bedside
books, I found Sunset House. I opened it and realized that in my
hurried life I had not read Lady Fortescue's second book, even
though it has been on my shelf for years. What a totally,
unexpected delight to read this book and how much I adore her style,
enthusiasm, subtle humor, and underlying kindness in all she does.
I have copied the paragraph about her first view of the
Mediterranean when she and Mademoiselle visited the Coast Guard
Station. Such a perfect visual description, one that I have never
seen and probably won't, but can visit repeatedly in this utterly
Lady Fortescue's books many years ago after reading Peter Mayle's A
Year in Provence. This morning I just couldn't get her out of my
mind and found your site - another unexpected delight. Thank you for
your fine efforts on this site. I'll be back - often.
Welcome to site and thank you very much - Peter, Webmaster.
I've not visited the site in
several months. It is better than ever and I will check in much more
frequently. Thanks for keeping Lady Fortescue's legacy alive and
Nice to hear from you Roger and thanks very much - Peter, Webmaster.
Discovered Lady Fortescue's books
last year and obtained a copy of Perfume from Provence. I made the
mistake of lending it to a friend and now she and I are in
competition in trying to get copies of Lady F's other Provence
books. This led to a very amusing tug of war in our local Hard to
Find but Worth the Effort secondhand bookshop, but we have agreed to
share! Not easy to get the books in New Zealand but we now have 3
between us. We will be looking out for the Maureen Emerson book.
Find your website delightful.
Welcome to the site Christine, I'm so glad you are enjoying it. Let
me know what books you are missing as I have a few spare editions at
the moment which you might be interested in. You will also
enjoy 'Escape to
Provence' by Maureen Emerson, available through the web site - Peter, Webmaster.
How pleased I am to fnd this
website! I discovered Lady Fortescue in 1993 while looking for a
book to read on holiday. I'd read some of the Peter Mayle books and
quite enjoyed them but when I saw Sunset House I thought I'd give it
a try. As it happened I didn't start reading it until waiting for
the flight home, but was instantly taken in by the beautiful writing
of her evening walk when she found what was to be her home.
I could go on for ever about how I
went on to read her other books and how I found those no longer in
print but for now I'll just say thank you for setting up this site
and I look forward to reading more about one of my favourite
Welcome to the website Alan and thank you for the comments, glad you
like it. You will enjoy 'Escape to
Provence' by Maureen Emerson which took 8 years of researching
into the lives of Winifred Fortescue & Elisabeth Starr - Peter, Webmaster.
Peace. I had a chance to read the
exploits of "The fighting ten". My father has a copy. His name is
John Battye, also a very good writer. I to am in the process of
writing a novel with reference to the struggle in Afghanistan going
on today. Through the family history that he has compiled and
completed into a book, I find that we are distant though direct
relations ie my great grandfather. The coming title of my novel aka
The Darnerman. Peace.
Very interesting Andy and another connection, thanks - Peter,
In reply to Ruth
Hay-Gibson's concerned email regarding the review, by Val Hennessy,
of the reprinting of Perfume from Provence: It is true there is a
certain amount of condescension in the way Winifred Fortescue writes
of the local people of Provence. Her writings are not without
fault. Much of this is of her age and generally without malice, and
while one does not excuse it, there is an element of historical
interest here. What is certain is that Ms Hennessy has not taken
the trouble to find out anything about Winifred's life as a whole
and has certainly not read Trampled Lilies, for example. Also, she
cannot know how many of the local people of Opio – her second home
in Provence – still think of her with affection and tend her grave
in the small cemetery there. If Ms Hennessy had taken the trouble
to do fifteen minutes research, she might have revised her
superficial appraisal of the book. But then, she doesn't write for
the Financial Times, and possibly never will. I feel one should
feel more sorrow than anger for reviewers who throw off superficial
and, to my surprise, ill-written text.
Maureen Emerson, author of Escape
to Provence, the biography of Winifred Fortescue and Elisabeth
Thank you Maureen, a good response - Peter, Webmaster
Dear All, I
have just read the book review in the mail this Friday. I am so
upset. Val Hennessy does not seem to have understood either the
circumstances or the life of Lady Fortescue, thinking she was "
snobby, privileged English twit" and that we should "grind our
teeth" while reading it. I am not sure where I should write to,
to tell her how very mistaken she is, but someone needs to put
her right, Regards Ruth Hay-Gibson
Thanks for your message Ruth. If it's the Val Hennessy of the UK
Daily Mail, write or email her there via their website at
seen the article personally but I can imagine the contents. One of the
glossy English published magazines on France did a similar job
when the book was re-published by Black Swan in the early
1990's. It still didn't stop it becoming a best seller once
again though! I often think that if the critics hate something
it's usually worth reading so don't worry too much, it's just
very frustrating especially when loyal readers know what a good
person she was. It's one reviewers opinion and it's
unlikely that she has read any of the other 6 books, or ever
will. - Peter,
I am so pleased to
have found this website, and feel silly that it never occurred to me
before that I should be able to find info. about Lady F. online!!
What a pretty site. I began collecting and reading the Lady F.
books some years ago and think that I have them all. She seem to
become, over the course of her books, a more and more interesting
Last year I went by
the very cheap Antibes bus, to try to see her house, but in the
event I was forced back because of a huge storm. However, I visited
the local tourist office and was told that she was buried on the
nearby hill and to my great joy and surprise, I found her grave and
was astonished to do so. In May, I intend to return and place some
flowers there. With good wishes to those who have set up this
website. Val P.
Thank you and welcome to the site Val, have a great trip in May
- Peter, Webmaster
If Lady Fortescue fans have not
read Carol Drinkwater's books, I highly recommend them. Beginning
with The Olive Farm. As you know, Carol was in All Creatures Great
and Small in England, and bought a home near Cannes, refurbished it
and has written several interesting books.
Her web address is
and people can also join her group on Facebook, where one can see
even more photos she has taken at home in France and on various
trips around the Mediterranean gathering information for her books.
I mentioned Maureen Emerson's book
to her, that it could be purchased at the English Book Store in
Valbonne, and she said she had seen it there. She also said they
carry her very own olive oil there! It is indeed a small world.
Everyone have a good week end.
Thanks for the update and information Doris - Peter, Webmaster
Dear Peter, it has been a while
since I last emailed you. The site looks really fabulous now and so
much has been added. Just a joy to see the documents of Cintra
Fashions, all those years ago and still you have managed to get all
this glorious history of Winifred Fortescue. I am so lucky that I
have all of Winifred's books, two of them first editions.
Lili and Bill Guy.
Great to hear from you, thanks for the kind comments, do keep
visiting - Peter, Webmaster
Message: A very Happy
Valentine's Day to all! Thank you Peter, for continuing to
provide us with this wonderful web site.
Thanks very much indeed Doris, there is more to come in 2009! -
I too am related to the Battyes - the
fighting ten - and have a copy of Evelyn Desiree Battye's book about
the exploits of the brothers. I've contacted Joanne Parsley
Welcome to the site Lynne - Peter, Webmaster.
Scotland, 31st Jan 2009
Hi Peter, I have just had the
pleasure of finishing the first in the series of Lady
Fortescue's books and to say I'm smitten is an
understatement....... I was fortunate enough to have listened to
it on tape, rather than to have actually read it and to be able
to close my eyes and imagine myself there was incredible. It was
of course aided by the wonderful photographs that had been
uploaded onto this site by all the avid fans........Please add
me to the list!
You are very welcome Frederique and you have six more books to
go! - Peter, Webmaster.
First of all - congratulations on the web site. It really is
super and brings together so much information on Lady F. and is
a great supplement to her books. Over the years I have spent
quite a lot of time visiting her various homes - I had great
difficulty in locating La Grave in the 1980s but eventually
found it by the pictures of the mountains!
We moved to
Ashtead from Somerset ten years ago and recently our Decorative
and Fine Arts Society (ADFAS) had an outing to Kenwood House
followed by a walk through old Hampstead. I had a look on the
website and found the address given for Admiral's House as 'The
Grove'. I duly checked in the A-Z and found that The Grove runs
south from Hampstead Lane at the NE of Hampstead Heath. Checking
with our guide I found this is not the location. Admiral's House
is, as I always assumed, in Admiral's Walk which is off
Hampstead Grove and this, I suspect, must be where the name of
Galsworthy's House - Grove Lodge comes from. I attach a picture
of the road name including the directions. I'm told the house is
owned by a QC these days. If the picture is of any use please
feel free to use it.
thanks for a most interesting and informative website.
Thanks Nick, welcome to the site. It is a bit confusing as the
house name and road name has changed a few times over the years.
Nice photograph and thanks for the nice comments - Peter,
Just found your site. I had
chanced on a second hand copy of 'There's Rosemary...' as I
recognised the Fortescue name from my copy of the History of the
British Army. The auto-biography adds extra dimension to my
appreciation of that great work and I am eternally grateful to Lady
F for persevering and funding the completion of the history. But
what a remarkable lady.
Welcome to the site Alan, as you say, a remarkable lady and she
does reveal much about Sir John - Peter, Webmaster.
It was with such
interest that I today found your article about the review In The
Riviera Reporter of Maureen Emerson's book. It is called a
"remarkable book" and I totally agree. I was able
to go to the site and print the page to read, thanks to you and all
your efforts. Also loved the new photos of Elisabeth Starr, thanks
Best wishes to
Glad you enjoyed it Doris - there has also been a review in the
Mid Sussex Times which it may be possibly to display in the future -
Peter, I would like to let
visitors to your great site know that another site,
has reviews of Escape to Provence as well as an interview of Maureen
Emerson. I encourage anyone who has read Escape to go to that site
and look on the right side for letters to the editor and post your
thoughts about this book. One can also click on Reviews and
Interviews at the top of the page to see, (and hear), more from and
about the author as well as Lady Fortescue and Elisabeth Starr. I
heard from Maureen Emerson, after posting my review on this,
(Peter's), site and must say she is an extremely nice person.
Thanks Roger I will be adding more info about AMB shortly - Peter, Webmaster.
I have spent the last couple of days reading
Escape to PROVENCE by Maureen Emerson and can honestly say it is the
most interesting read I have had in quite some time. The research
that went into the lives, and lives led, by Winifred “Peggy”
Fortescue and Elisabeth Starr, as well as the World War 11 travails
of France, must have been monumental . It certainly paid off. The
personalities of Peggy and Elisabeth were quite different and the
fact that they were able to maintain such a close relationship for
as long as they did was remarkable. Their dedication to the French
war effort was also something to behold. Emerson paints a picture of
a bygone era in such a way that the reader is almost there and,
certainly, wants to be there.
Maybe Emerson will now consider a book about Mary
Frances Kennedy Fisher (M.F.K. Fisher) and her love affair with
Provence. Fisher’s good friend, Julia Child, would be prominent in
such a book.
Something very interesting to me in Escape was
the mention, on page 10, of Dillwyn Parrish, a Starr relation. M.F.K.
Fisher was married to Dillwyn Parrish (dob-1894) in 1939 but not to
the Dillwyn Parrish mentioned in Escape as that Dillwyn was born
much earlier. The two Dillwyns are surely related but, after a
couple of hours of internet research, I could not establish a
Not surprisingly, I highly recommend Escape to
Thanks Roger - Peter, Webmaster.
the long awaited book, Escape to Provence, by Maureen Emerson,
certainly answered many questions for me. As an American, I was
particularly curious about Elisabeth Starr, whether she had ever
been married, engaged, why she went to France, etc. I had
searched on the Internet, but could find very little about her.
Truly it was a
bit sad to finish the book, as one seems to "become" part of
that group on the hill in Opio. I will be eternally grateful to
Maureen for writing this much researched and interesting book.
Thank you for
all you do for us all.
Thanks Doris, you are one of the first to review the book, glad
you enjoyed it - Peter, Webmaster.
thanks to Steve's post, and this site, I now have a copy of Maureen
Emerson's 'Escape to Provence' on its way to Texas. Also, I now know
what Peter look like - pleasant as expected. One more also - Alice
Barker has a great blog on French living (just discovered) at
Roger Jones, Texas, U.S.A.
Thanks very much for the kind remarks Roger, one or two people have
spotted me on the 'Esacape to Provence' page - (I could do with
shedding a few lbs!) You will enjoy the new book, I assure you,
especially all the U.S. connection with Elisabeth Starr and her
family. - Peter, Webmaster.
To see more pictures of the book launch click here
It's great to see this site
updated regularly and growing. I have just enjoyed reading the
'Escape to Provence' page and seeing the great set of photos of
Maureen Emerson's book launch at the English Book Centre in
Thanks very much, it is a great book - Peter, Webmaster.
Gay Place, Mougins, Fr,
Interested to buy any books that come up. I think
your web site is good and very well illustrated Thank you for all
Will let you know what becomes available - Peter, Webmaster.
I am always relieved
to see this site is still going strong. If only video cameras had been
around all those decades ago.......
Hi Roger, nice to hear from you, yes still going strong and more to
come yet! - Peter, Webmaster.
I have a Battye and a Beech in my family tree . Your
web site was very interesting , I have been trying to find the book,
The Fighting Ten , but not had much luck.
Welcome to the site Joanne - Peter, Webmaster. If anyone can help
with a copy
of the book please contact the site or Joanne direct.
'The Fighting Ten' by
published by BACSA (December 1984)
paperback of 250 pages
ISBN Numbers, ISBN-10: 0907799094,
I am so glad I have found this site.
I have now read all of Lady Fortescue's books. She has the wonderful
power of making one think that she is writing for you alone.
Such enchantment is rare indeed. A vanished world brought to vivid
Thank you and welcome to the site - Peter, Webmaster.
Dear Peter, I don't
know if the followers of this web site have learned of a new book by
Australian Vicki Archer called My French Life? I got my copy during
the holidays and found a web site where I could write to her. She was
gracious enough to answer me. I then mentioned Lady Fortescue's books,
being quite sure she would have heard of them, but as chance had it,
she had not. I gave her this web site. I am sure she will be as
enchanted with Lady Fortescue's books as all of us have. I do highly
recommend her book, it has beautiful photos and tells how they came to
love Provence, buy and restore Mas de Berard and move from Australia
to London so they could be closer to their beloved new home in
Provence, yet let the children go to English schools. A very Happy New
Year to all! Regards, Doris Long
Thanks for the information Doris - Peter, Webmaster. The book is
published by Penguin, Australia and is widely available, ( try
Amazon). From the
cover notes comes the following:
In 1999 Vicki
Archer, with her husband and three children, made a lifelong dream a
reality when she bought a seventeenth-century property in
Saint-Remy-de-Provence. She spent three years lovingly restoring the
farmhouse, bringing back to life the abandoned apple and pear orchards
and planting an olive grove of more than 2000 trees. In My French Life
Vicki shares an insider's view of life in France, telling her personal
tale of taking risks, facing challenges and falling in love with all
things French. Intertwined with Vicki's words are lavish photographs
by Carla Coulson, which reveal the essence of instinctive French
Peter, Best Wishes for the New Year, just to say that Jane Austin's
"Sense and Sensibility" is being screened on on BBC 1 on 1st January.
It was filmed in the grounds of Hartland Abbey and Blackpool Mill
Beach 1 mile away.
Thanks for the reminder Vicky. Hartland Abbey has strong links with
Lady Fortescue - Peter, Webmaster
- Lucy Ann White, Kent, England, 29/11/2007
Peter, Thank you for your comment on
my website www.lucyannwrites.blogspot.com regarding my entry Lavender
Blue. Winifred was certainly a character and, as you say, willing to
do what was necessary to survive and prosper. She sounds like my
grandmother, close to her in age and interested in the theatre like
her too! (all in my novel A Little Blue Jacket published in paperback
in May 2007) Perfume From Provence is a charming book: well done for
keeping it and Winifred's memory alive. Lucy
Thank you, Lucy's web site blog at
www.lucyannwrites.blogspot.com is well worth visiting - Peter,
Clapier, Grasse, A.M, 13/11/2007
My name is Sylvain
Clapier, I contact you because I was visiting your website when I saw
a particular flyer. My grand father was Taxi-man in Grasse, his name
was Henry Clapier. So this particular flyer is one use by my grand
father. It is so unbelievable for me! Be able to see this paper give
me a really great emotion. I don’t know if I can explain myself
correctly with your language, but it’s really fantastic. Is it
possible to you to send me the initial copy of this flyer to be able
to offer it to my father? Is it also possible to know how you found
it? Thank you for your help. Should you need any further information,
please do not hesitate to contact me.
The document mentioned is a small card advertising H. Clapier's Taxi
Service in Grasse in 1928. It is displayed on the
Grasse page of the site. I have been in touch with
Sylvain and will be sending him the original for his family to retain
- Peter, Webmaster.
- tolikimer, UK, 22/08/2007
Hi, a fantastic site, and brilliant
effort. A great piece of work. Best regards! Bye.
Many thanks - Peter, Webmaster.
I'm so glad to have discovered this
site and to find that so many people have enjoyed the books, as I
have. I didn't know about the last 3 titles and will now try to locate
copies of them. A couple of years ago I found The Story of a Red Deer
by J. W. Fortescue's in an Exeter bookshop and was delighted to
add it to my collection of Lady Fortescue's books. It was mentioned in
There's Rosemary, There's Rue. Do you have any information about
Castle Hill, Filleigh?
Cynthia Wrigley, Uffculme, Devon
Welcome to the site Cynthia, thanks for the nice comments. Have a
look at the page on Sir John Fortescue and you will find a link there
to the site about Castle Hill - Peter,
Hartland Abbey, Devon
My recent visit to
the Hartland Peninsula.
Part of my family and
our dog 'foggy' stayed in The Old Orchard a very spacious barn
conversion in Hartland village - a quiet village almost off the beaten
track but upon purchase of the Hartland Times (a monthly magazine) I
realised just how much effort and involvement goes into this vibrant
The weather was
atrocious all week but our dog enjoyed his walks while dodging the
down-pours. Very conveniently we could access Hartland Park via the
gate in the village leading to Hartland Abbey and the Honeymoon
retreat and the base of Lady Winifred Fortescue during part of WW2.
The BBC warned us
they were filming their latest costume drama - Jane Austin's 'Sense
and Sensibility' in the park and we would come across a horse drawn
carriage. While the film crew tried to manoeuvre the horses from our
muddy path they beckoned us on but my foot came out of my shoe
leaving it behind in the thick mud. As I clung desperately to one of
the carriage wheels covering myself with mud a nice man from the
film crew managed to slip my shoe back on.
Meanwhile back at
Hartland Abbey (although they were not filming in the Abbey itself)
the grounds were full of vehicles belonging to the film crew. A
little cottage nearby at Blackpool Mill had been transformed for the
filming. I enjoyed the tour of the Abbey but was disappointed not to
find anything relating to Sir John and Lady Winifred Fortescue's time
spent at the Abbey. For those who have read Winifred's book 'Beauty
for Ashes' will no exactly what I mean. The grounds are very
beautiful (if only we could have had some good weather).
My first visit for
the day to Land's End in Cornwall was no less than dramatic for I
hadn't been there above ten minutes when out came my camera and while
eying up my first picture to take - not looking where I was going -
toppled over and fractured my right wrist and have been in plaster now
for five weeks.
Oh ! and by-the-way
if you are planning a visit to Hartland check your mobile, as not all
mobiles work in the village and you will have to go four miles for a
Thanks for a great write up & photo's Vicky - sorry to hear about
the accident, hope you are on the mend - Peter, Webmaster.
I liked your site.
Thanks - Peter, Webmaster.
In May we had a delightful trip to
Tourettes Sur Loup and from there we went to visit Opio and saw the
Sunset House, were kindly invited to see the garden by the new owner.
He was coming out to get his mail just as we were walking by. We
visited the graves of Lady Fortescue and Elisabeth Starr as well. I
didn't get to the Domaine as it wasn't open for tours that week. It
was so nice, such a thrill to see where they lived. Now I am more
excited than ever for Maureen Emerson's book to be published. :-)
Since getting home, I have re-read the first two books, will do the
same with the others.
Congratulations on a great trip Doris - Peter, Webmaster.
Having just finished reading the
delightful Perfume from Provence I am feeling just a little sad
because it has finished. Such was Lady Fortescue's skill that I felt I
was living there with them. My mind has been returning time and again
to the life she describes so well and the wonderful people she lived
with. Even though I know they are all long gone I would have loved to
have known what happened to them.I am determined now to find as much
of her work as I can, amazing lady.
Welcome to the site Patricia - you have 6 more books of delightful
stories to come yet so don't be too sad! - Peter, Webmaster.
- Jill, Kent, England, 30/04/2007
I Have just finished 'Perfume from Provence' and
thoroughly enjoyed it. I had the little book given to me and it made a
Thanks Jill - Sunset House continues the story - Peter, Webmaster.
How very exciting to see the home
Elizabeth Starr lived in and know it can be rented! It is just amazing
to see those photos, and know she and Lady Fortescue spent so much
time there. Thank you Peter for a wonderful service to us all.
Many thanks, there are some more photo's on the rental company
website - Peter, Webmaster.
What a wonderful web site this is
and a fitting testament to an amazing lady.
Many thanks - Peter, Webmaster.
As we all are eagerly awaiting Maureen Emerson's
book, I wanted to share with you that in Gardens of the French Riviera
by Louisa Jones, on pages 102-104, there are some photos of Fort Escu,
not very large ones but such a delight to know they are there.
Many thanks for the information Doris - Peter, Webmaster. (There are
also some good photo's on the website created by the current owner of
The Domaine - have a look at
I have become a huge fan of Lady Fortescue's book
and am avidly trying to find copies of all her work. Living in Sussex
I would love to know the location of Many Waters.Until I discovered
this site I thought I was alone in my interest in her work.
The cottage, since demolished, was on the Stonehurst Estate,
nr. East Grinstead - thanks again for the kind comments - Peter,
I cannot tell you how delighted I have been to
discover your website. I have recently discovered Lady Fortescue's
work and have bought as many of her books as I could find. I will one
day travel to Provence to visit the countryside and people she wrote
so affectionately about.
Best wishes Joan Wilson
Welcome to the site Joan - Peter, Webmaster.
Delighted to rediscover 'Perfume From Provence'
during bad weather, when I was stuck by the fire twiddling fingers.
What a delight to read!
I liked your site.
Hello: Can you please advise when the new book
will be out? I'm addicted to of Lady Fortescue's writings and so
anxious for the next one. Any info you can provide would be greatly
Thank you so much.
Hello Susan, as I understand, Maureen Emerson's proposed new book
about Lady F and her neighbours is currently undergoing final
checking. Maureen hopes to have arranged a publisher by Spring 2007
so if all goes to plan it may be available next year. Keep an eye on
the web sites opening page for updates on progress and availability.
It sounds a wonderful book and we all await it eagerly - Peter,
I much admire the
website and have found it very interesting and informative. Quite by
chance I found a copy of Perfume from Provence in a bookshop just
before a trip to France and as a result have collected all of her
books over the years. We have also found the bergerie (with
difficulty), visited Opio.
In one of her books
she mentions starting to make a recording for talking books of Perfume
from Provence but that the studio was bombed. Do you know if any of
the recording has survived? Is there any info on Elizabeth Starr?
Well done for tracking down the bergerie! Extensive research has
failed to uncover any copy of the recording. The new book by Maureen
Emerson, due out late 2007, has a lot of information on Elisabeth
I would just like
to say I have read all of Winifred Fortescue's books, they were so
interesting and I miss them- but I intend to visit at least some of
the places mentioned, I have found Hartland Abbey in Devon on the
web and plan a trip next year. In the meantime I am looking forward
to purchasing the book of the friends and neighbours of Rue de la
Fontaine by Maureen Emerson. I did take a trip to France this year,
to Limoges and visited the centre de la memoir Oradour-sur-Glane.
Thanks Vicky, keep an eye on the web site for more details of the
books progress - Peter, Webmaster.
I have the book All This and a
Medal Too By Tim Carew There is no dust cover but the book is
complete and in good/very good condition. It is published by
Constable & Co. Ltd, London. Reprinted August 1954. If you are
interested still please let me know.
very much, have passed on message to the enquirer - Peter,
I have just started to read Winifred's books and
they are great !
Welcome to the site Wendy - Peter, Webmaster.
It is with such interest that I follow your web
site. I've read all the Fortescue books now but Laughter in Provence
and have that one coming to me from England. I was always sorry
when the books came to an end as I was totally wrapped up in the
stories, felt I could almost "feel" being there in Provence.
Ms. Emerson's book will be highly anticipated by me
as well, I am so eager to learn more about Elizabeth's Starr's
American roots. The whole book will be fascinating, I am sure.
Thank you for providing us with this site. I have so
enjoyed all the photos people have shared.
Thanks for the kind remarks Doris - there is still much more to come on the
web site when time permits and the book is eagerly awaited. - Peter,
- Maureen Emerson, Sussex, UK, 21/08/2006
I have been told of your charming
and dedicated website and feel, at last, I can allow myself the
pleasure of contacting you.
After six years of research and
writing I have now finished a factual biography of the lives of four
friends and neighbours of the Rue de la Fontaine (the original name of
the hillside of San Peyre) in Opio. My own home for twenty-two years
was outside Valbonne.
Of the group the best known, of
course, are Winifred Fortescue and Elisabeth Starr. The story begins
in America in 1889 and ends in 1955 when the last house is sold. It
covers family histories, the two world wars, the fragile peace of the
20s and 30s on the Riviera, and the web of the personal lives of each
of the inhabitants of the four houses. Spanning three countries, it is
both historical and personal.
The book runs to around 111,500
words and is in the process of final correction. It could not have
been written without the immense generosity of the many people
concerned and the help of archivists in America, London and France. I
must now seek a publisher and, if no-one has accepted it by next
Spring, will publish it myself as a tribute to a group of people I
greatly admire. There are many and varied photographs. The above
title is a 'working title' for the moment.
I do hope, above all, it will be
With best wishes
Welcome to the web site Maureen. This is going to be a most valuable
publication providing an insight into the little community that lived
on the hill. I can't wait to get my hands on a copy! Congratulations,
six years is a long time ! - Peter, Webmaster.
A really interesting website. Thank you for
I have only recently discovered
Winifred Fortescue when I purchased a bundle of 'France' magazines
from a Christmas fayre and found a feature article called 'Maman Noel'
in the Spring edition 1996. I enjoyed the article so much that have
subsequently started reading all of her books getting the first book
'Sunset House' from the library, I have purchased the others trying to
get first editions - In Perfume from Provence there is a message
inscribed "To Madeleine, going to Monte Carlo 12.iii 36 from Grant
with love" in 'There's Rosemary There's Rue' has a sprig of rosemary
taped to the front cover. She was a wonderful writer and led a very
interesting life and I just love reading her books. I hope one day to
visit Opio, I enjoyed a tour of France last year.
Welcome to the site Victoria and
thanks for the comments. Please note 'Sunset House' is the second
book and continues the story of the original 'Perfume from Provence'. Keep up the hunt for 1st
editions, they are getting harder & harder to find in nice
condition - Peter, Webmaster.
- Gill Harvey, UK, 30/05/2006
I've just bought a first edition copy of Perfume
from Provence, green board cover, published by Blackwood in 1935.
There is an intriguing handwritten entry on the very first, blank page
: "Maggie L ...... Chris who has spent many happy days in "the Domaine".
Easter 1935" I wonder if anyone could shed any light on who Maggie L
or Chris are/were??
With thanks and regards.
Gill - I am making enquiries as per my e-mail - Peter, Webmaster.
It's really nice to think that other people also
tend the grave; I've not been down to the South for a while now and
was wondering how the weeds would be doing! Thanks Olivier. In a
strange way it became a project of mine whilst I was working In Grasse
and if I found that somebody else had planted something I always hoped
that we might meet.
It's good to hear from someone
living in Opio. Thank you for visiting and cleaning her gravesite.
- Olivier Carton, Opio, A.M. France, 20/5/2006
It was nice to find this web site, I live in Opio and
enjoyed reading the books. It was fun trying to imagine the places that
were mentioned in the book. Opio has changed a great deal since her days
but is still a wonderful place to live and to bring up children. I was
walking in the village the other day and decided to visit the cemetery and
came across her grave so I did a spot of weeding and cleaned it up a bit.
Many thanks for your mail. I have not
tracked down the exact house number as yet, the census for that year is
not available yet of course but I will work on it! It's an interesting
theory and could just be a possibility, it's about the right time. There
are no blue plaques in respect of the Fortescue's. There is a brown one on
Admiral's House at Hampstead Heath but not to them. That would be a good
place to get one erected for both Winifred and Sir John. Home Farm, as it
was, tacked on the end, has one to Galsworthy. I am looking into the
possibility, it is now done through English Heritage, but it is a very
I very much enjoyed reading "Perfume
from Provence" which led me to track down a copy of "There's Rosemary,
there's Rue" which I am currently tucking into at the moment. I am also an
admirer of the "Mapp and Lucia" books of E F Benson, who at one time - I
think around 1915 - moved into a house at 25 Brompton Square, London.
This would seem to have coincided with the Fortescue's residing in the same
square, so I was wondering whether you know exactly which house it was
that they occupied? Could they have purchased it from E F Benson
Incidentally, a blue plaque has been
added to the front of 25 Brompton Square recording that E F Benson once
lived there. Have there been any blue plaques erected anywhere on homes
that Lady Winifred Fortescue lived in at all?
I have recently read Perfume from
Provence and was immediately struck with it's significance to the late
and truly great Gerald Durrell. It was so obvious by its similarities,
that I immediately posted this to two Yahoo Groups discussing Gerald
Durrell and his Jersey zoo: INSPIRATION FOR: MY FAMILY & OTHER ANIMALS
Those of you who have read Gerald Durrell's books, will know that his
brother Larry (Lawrence Durrell) was a celebrated author and friend of
Arthur Miller the great American author. You will also know that Larry
coached Gerry in writing MY FAMILY & OTHER ANIMALS. This coaching
manifested itself by Gerry writing some beautiful books, but only when
he had time to spare from his lifelong ambition to create a zoo that
would be different from other zoos. What you probably do not know, is
that writers build on the foundations of those who have written before
them. The best writers include themes from many books and intermingle
them: that is not plagiarism. Over the last 5 years, I have enjoyed
comparing books and films, to see which themes are used by the next. I
have just read the book that Larry must have given Gerry, as an
inspiration for his book: PERFUME FROM PROVENCE (1935) by Lady Fortescue.
This was written in Provence (France) at a similar time to the Durrell's
life in Greece. Provence was where Larry retired. Provence was where
Gerry had his holiday/writing home. Lady Fortescue's lovely description
of festivals and country life is reflected in Gerald's book, as is her
style of mixing up when events occurred - to make a good story. Lady
Fortescue was as popular in the thirties as Gerald was in the sixties.
If you can get hold of a copy you will enjoy this classic book, my
edition was published in 1992 by Black Swan. The last two chapters are
brilliant. Lady Fortescue followed her husband to the grave in Provence
in 1951, little did she know what she had inspired.
Thank you for all the kind remarks recently added - they
are very much appreciated.
- Emily Bell, Horley, UK, 21/03/2006
Thank you so much for your detailed site. I was merely
interested until I came to the slide-show - and I was entranced. I am
currently reading Perfume from Provence and the modern-day pictures are so
moving, especially after reading your account of Lady F's good works and "Monsieur"'s
scholarship. I originally bought the book because I am interested in
French and English attitudes to gardening, and had believed that it was
chiefly about gardens. I was very slightly disappointed in that, and so to
see pictures of the roses is wonderful! (My parents live in the South-West
of France and the local gardens are mostly neglected yards, except for the
vegetables.) Thank you again for all the work.
site where one can enjoy the thought of a great mind long departed. Cheers
for the good work!
site goes from strength to strength; the book covers and the De Gaulle
commendation make for really interesting add-ons. The hailstone pictures of
Monaco are spectacular; the weather can be quite strange, especially in the
hills where electric storms are not uncommon. The snow featured in the Nice
views is the snow that also broke the mimosa trees last February.
entry back in September about the Croix de Lorraine on Winifred's
headstone and involvement with the French resistance. I think the cross is
actually a link to the ASSOCIATION DES FRANÇAIS LIBRES who honoured
Winifred for her work during the war and who also use the same symbol. A
new page has been added with a copy of the certificate she received signed
personally by General de Gaulle in 1946.
here to visit the new page.
and welcome Ann. Yes, the author is indeed Tim Carew. It was published in
1954 and not reprinted again as far as I know. Second hand copies are
available through professional book dealers, prices ranging from approx.
£12 to £35.
description: 1954 by Constable.252pp. Recording events which took place
in the author's life between 1937 and 1950 during which time he was in the
Royal Horse Guards and then the Parachute Regiment in World War 2. Later
he was with the Ghurkhas in Burma where he won the Military Cross.
e-mailed you directly re obtaining a copy.
trying to trace a book called "All this and a medal too" and after typing
this in Google your site has come up as the only one having reference to
it - could you please tell me the author's full name - Is it Tim Carew?
and is the book still in print?
for the kind remarks Lorayne and welcome to the site. Hope you generate
some interest in the book.
wonderful website I have found, not only is it tastefully put together but
also informative and I have experienced an extremely friendly service. I
have for sale a beautiful Hon. J. W. Fortescue - The Story of a Red Deer
dated 1899 in impeccable condition. Please do not hesitate to contact me
for further details or if you would like to make me an offer I may just be
tempted to part with such a rare, collectable book for a genuine sensible
Very best wishes
Mrs Lorayne Thompson.
Lorayne direct at the above email address for details - Webmaster
Lady Fortescue's books first in the early 1960's after a visit to Grasse.
'Perfume from Provence' has been re-read many times, and remains my
site goes from strength to strength, it really is beautifully put
together, many congratulations. I have been a fan of Lady Fortescue's work
since a friend loaned me Perfume from Provence several years ago and have
visited Opio and the surrounding area many times since then. Can anyone
cast any more light on Lady Fortescue's involvement with the French
Resistance. I imagine the symbol of the Croix de Lorraine on her
headstone, which is very symbolic of the free France campaign, signifies
her involvement in the liberation movement as well as her many charitable
acts for people in the region. I too have noticed the crumbling grave of
Pat Allison next to Miss Starr's (recently impressively restored) grave.
Does anyone know who he/she was?
Keep up the very good work,
P. L. (
thanks to Ken Bryant for his tip off below. As a result I managed to
secure the book and letter and it is now on the website. Click
here to visit the page.
to the site and thanks for the kind remarks. Rest assured, the copyright
holder of all the work, a niece of Lady Fortescue, has always been
consulted as far as I know. I have seen the books for sale but like you
feel the price is very high. Can't find the one about domestic notes you
mentioned though - feel free to send me an email with further info. Thanks
again - enjoy the web site.
further note, I did a search on abebooks where there are a couple of items
for sale [not cheap] a signed copy dedicated to " nanny" and another
containing two pages of correspondence on domestic matters. has web master
a fantastic site and a fabulous find! I remember when the the Black Swan
reprint came out, (what a poor issue) one of the reviews made great play of
the fact that none of Lady Fortescue's descendants could be traced: a poor
show I thought as I was sure I could have found them, if around. [I've a
similar but longer term project ongoing] As I feel this was just an excuse
to avoid royalty payments, did the descendants get the dues?
to Veronica who got in touch about the Jogging Round Majorca book by
Gordon West. Its on the way to you today!
be sure to visit
www.fortescue.org where you can track all Fortescue's.
David Reading, UK, 19/07/2005
just bid for Perfume from Provence on ebay. That is a good place to search
for other items connected with Lady Fortescue. Put in a search for
Fortescue. My interest is in the Fortescue genealogy. My father's middle
name is Fortescue as was his father.
time ago someone was trying to find a copy of Jogging round Majorca by
Gordon West. The cover is by Brian Sanders who did the 1990's Fortescue
covers. Well, I now have a copy of it available for £5 but have lost your
details - do get in touch if still interested! Click
here to send an email.
back from my last visit to Opio, where the rose planted by the Smith's
friends in February is still doing well, (well watered by the seasonal
storms!); I think the grave has however been tidied up by the caretakers
as there have been several plants removed (sadly the Rue, which probably
looked a bit weed like and the lavender). Does anybody know any connection
with Pat Allingham? another English name, whose grave is in very poor
shape, next to the one of Miss Star. Hoping to go again in August.
site gets better and better. Thanks!
Margaret & Tony Smith, Warwickshire, 06/06/2005
Peter, Continuing your good efforts I see! Very interested to see the info
about Peter Carew, we had wondered who he was. We have his book Combat &
Carnival which is an interesting read. I am in the middle of reading his
son, Tim's book "All this and a Medal Too" - his life in WW2. We're off to
France next Tuesday, where we will without doubt have our usual "Personal
AGM" at Le Mas des Geraniums and visit the grave, where our friends were
there in February and planted a rose for her.
All the best
and a warm welcome to the site - will be in touch re books in Australia
shortly. Nice to have another Fortescue on board.
Peter. I have just discovered this website. I would love to know if my
grandfather is Sir John's cousin?? I was told by my father that he was.
Please let me know how to obtain the books of Lady Winifred. Amazing
research! well done. Warm greetings.. from Downunder:)
RE: PETER CAREW - BURIED AT OPIO
Margaret FORTESCUE was born on 13 Mar 1892. She died on 19 Aug 1974.
Author of a book "Dusty Pages". She was the daughter of Sir John
Fortescue's younger brother, Captain Arthur Grenville Fortescue of the
Coldstream Guards who died on the 3rd October 1895.
married to Colonel Peter Fitzwilliam CAREW ( the son of Rev Henry William
CAREW and Maud Elizabeth TAYLOR) on 10 Apr 1919.
Research is continuing!
for the kind comments and welcome to the site Denise! Have e-mailed you re
obtaining books in Australia.
delighted to find your beautifuly illustrated website !!! I came across
these delightful books a number of years ago & was just re-reading them
when I realised that I no longer have a copy of There's Rosemary, There's
Rue so thought I would look on the web as my local book seller tells me
that it is out of print. Maybe you can help? I appreciate the amount of
work that has gone into creating the site - many congratulations!!!
Peter, I have just re-visited your site and it is a real pleasure to go
through it again, also it has grown so much. Keep up the good work. Hope
you and family are keeping well.
Vicki, Vieux Nice, 02/03/2005
from chilly Nice! I can confirm that there was lots of snow this week and
we're waiting for some more tonight! It's -2° and very cold here, pussy
cats are sleeping on the computer to keep warm! Happy reading!
Click here for photo's.
to the site David !
pleased I was to come across your site. I was given a 1946 edition of
Perfume from Provence by my father in law some years ago and often re-read
it. Provence is a favourite holiday destination, particularly around St
Tropez, Le Lavandou and St Maxime. I visited Grasse in 2004, so I was
unwittingly close to the Domaine de Fort Escu! I've enjoyed browsing your
Thank you for your message .for some reason I cannot get an email to you (it
will be me, a poor operator!) hopefully all the info you need is above. I
await your email to let me know where I can get the other books with baited
just listening to a Nashville program on "fiddling", of all things, and
something told me to visit this site. My post was one of those two lost. I
had just mentioned how nice it would have been to have spent fifteen
minutes with Lady Fortescue and Molly Hughes. I am reading the last (not
meaning the last she wrote) of my Fortescue books - Mountain Madness. I
have been dragging it out for seven or eight weeks because when it's over,
it's over. I don't re-read books but, in her case, just may break my
decades old rule. Thanks for the website.
to say the site crashed with an almighty thump this morning ! All seems to
be up and running again now but we have lost the last couple of entries in
the visitors book - do please leave them again. If anything else appears
amiss let me know !
Jane and thanks for your message-send me an email to the
address so I can reply to your address with book info. Best wishes, glad
you like the site.
Jane, Somerset, 12/02/2005
wonderful to discover this site. I read the 2 books (perfume and sunset)
when introduced by my grandmother 18 odd years ago and have always
wondered if any others were written. Have you any ideas where I might be
able to purchase the rest.
for the last 2 entries - have e-mailed you both directly. We now know who
tends the grave ! I am coming to the conclusion that Peter Carew was
possibly just a neighbour living in the area. Very little is known about
him and there was a fair size English community there at one time. Any
photos are always welcome and I will try and use them where possible -
does anyone have one of Sunny Bank Hospital, Cannes before it was
have a copy of "Combat and Carnival" by Peter Carew?
Peter, When I first met your site, a few years ago now, I was delighted to
find that somebody shared my interest in keeping Lady Fortescue's memory
alive I discovered her books (and subsequently her grave) whilst working
in Grasse (about 10 years ago) and have tended her grave ever since; I had
also started to research her life and talked to the locals who remembered
her as Maman Noel; I have no family connection , but having enjoyed all
her books I just felt I wanted to do something for her; in July last year
I must have got there a few days after Margaret and Tony Smith; their
flowers on both Lady Fortescue's and Miss Starr's graves are still doing
well; I now spend more time in London so only get to the grave
occasionally. I also managed to get a copy of Peter Carew's book, Combat
and Carnival but have found no other information about him; What was his
connection to Lady Fortescue? Hopefully by now, her grave should be
covered in spring cyclamens and crocus, weather permitting; it snowed
quite heavily in the area last week-end, so heavily in fact that the
mimosa trees broke under the weight of the snow in the Vallée du Tanneron.
Are you interested in any other photos of the area? Looking forward to
hearing from you.
read all of "her" books and am happy to discover a website devoted to her.
e-mailed you directly re obtaining a copy of 'There's Rosemary There's
Rue'. Best wishes.
been a fan of Winifred fortesque since the 1980's - however I HAVE NEVER
BEEN ABLE TO FIND A COPY OF THE BOOK - There's Rosemary, T here's Rue.
Would love a copy
Sue, sadly, only printed in English & Dutch as far as I know!
Absolutely wonderful books, my Swedish friends wants to know if they are
published in Swedish?
A happy and peaceful new year to
everyone from www.perfumefromprovence.com
author is possibly the Peter Carew you refer to, I will check & provide an
update in due course.
'Combat and Carnival'
by Peter Carew. (1954)
A book about Sir Walter Carew which includes his brother-in-law William
Blundell Fortescue. Carew was a Landowner and yachtsman. It was he who was
fancied to win but lost to the yacht "America" and so started the Americas
Cup saga. William Blundell and his wife were on board at the time.
recent visit to Opio I visited Lady Fortescue's grave, which was looking
very pretty and obviously well tended. I was that "an English lady" from
Antibes takes care of it and was interested to know if there is a family
connection here. Also, does anyone know more about Peter Carew of Devon
who is buried next to WF? Really enjoy the site by the way, informative
and beautifully designed.
regard to the entry about Lady Fortescue's voice recordings, she was
making these for the use of the blind at St. Dunstan's in Central London.
(Early form of talking book, on discs). Despite extensive research with
the RNIB archives it looks as if none survived. Readers may remember from
'Trampled Lilies' that St. Dunstan's received a direct hit from a German
bomb and very little was left, her last recollection was of the production
manager trying to recover smashed items from the ruins.
for contacting me thru E bay , had no idea the site existed. No time to
read thru now but have put on favourites and will be back.
morning Peter My interest in the books and life of Lady Fortescue are
reflected by those of your other correspondents and I feel that perhaps
they would be interested in a living literary connection with her. A few
years ago whilst staying at Port Merion in North Wales, we met and
subsequently got to know The author Michael Burn, who is now in his early
90's. On subsequent meetings with him we talked about his various titles
and in particular "Mary and Richard" a story of his wife's passionate
affair with Richard Hillary, the battle of Britain fighter pilot who Wrote
"The Last Enemy". Whilst talking generally about both these books we
discovered that Richard was in fact the same fighter pilot (with the badly
burned face) that Winifred Fortescue befriended, and that Michael Burns
wife Mary Booker was the lady who brought his association with Lady
Fortescue to a close. If you recall Lady Fortescue's association with
Richard Hillary was initially to teach him the art of writing. I think
that anyone who has read "The Last Enemy" would agree that she very
definitely succeeded. I tend to think that if it had not been for
Richard's diversion in Mary Booker's direction the Lady Fortescue story
may have been a little different. It seems that his facial burns did not
put the ladies off!
Peter, Just thought I'd write a little note to tell you that we had our
usual PAGM (Personal Annual General Meeting!) at Le Mas des Geraniums,
having visited the graves to say hello and planted some lavendar on them
both, Lady Fortescue's and Elisabeth Starr's. Lady F's is looking very
pretty. However it was a cool and rainy day, so we had to have lunch
inside. Quel domage!
All the best
Margaret & Tony Smith.
enjoyed the books was thinking if the 78's she recorded would still be
around and if so can they be purchased on CD? good luck and great site.
P.S. would like to add that her story has prompted me to take a holiday
in the region, again thanks.
enjoyed the books was thinking if the 78's she recorded would still be
around and if so can they be purchased on CD? good luck and great site.
my mistake, well spotted, thank you.
little help from my friends I've got here! Like the Hertfordshire page, but have
one small correction : the A10 on which St Edmunds stands is not the Great
North Road (which is the A1).
reply to Beverley Geggie's message,and to clear up any misconceptions,M M
Kaye is not related to "the fighting Battye's".She wrote about the
exploits of one in her book The Far Pavilions.If readers would like to
find out more about Winifred Fortescue's family on the distaff side, can I
recommend The Fighting Ten by Evelyn Desiree Battye. This is published by
BACSA.In addition to the exploits of "the fighting ten" it gives a lot of
background information and the fascinating family history of Winifred's
Thank you for the opportunity to share your delightful web site which I
discovered by accident whilst surfing the Net. I have been interested in
the work of Lady Fortescue for some time since reading Perfume From
Provence. My curiosity was kindled when I discovered the family
connection. I visited Opio last summer and found Lady Fortescue's grave. Is
there a map in existence which shows the location of the houses that she
was involved with? The excellent slide show has given me some clues of
where to look on my next visit.
thanks for your comments Tony, glad you like the site. The style of
writing does take a bit of getting used to but life was very different of
course in that era. I will try and add some more information about her
health and the 'poison' in due course. Peter.
to say what great pleasure Lady Fortescue's seven books have given me over
these last 3 months. I completed 'there's rosemary, there's rue' last
weekend at the Fremantle home of a fellow-devotee Doreen Hill. Initially I
found the style a little dated, perhaps slightly 'classist' but quite
suddenly I succumbed to lady Fortescue's great charm, her vivid
personality and her huge compassion and vitality for life itself. What was
the 'poison', severe health problem that troubled her through those years
- and eventually killed her I suspect? I was delighted to find this site
and have passed it on to several friends. My 81 year old mother is now
discovering Winifred Fortescue and her world with great delight and
pleasure: and this so many years after her death. I write from the west
Australian bush and in the heat of summer (41C) on some days, but these
gentle and endearing books have transported me to a cooler clime and a
lost and charming world. All power to Lady Fortescue and her friends!
Beverley Geggie, Verwood, Dorset,
came across Lady's F's books at the library. I have enjoyed them
tremendously and recommend them to anyone. She is descended from the
'fighting Battyes'. I think I remember reading somewhere that M M Kaye was
also related to them but I could be wrong.
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