Visitors Book


Please 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.

Leave your comments here!

  • Jan Adriaan Zwarteveen, The Netherlands, 4th May 2023

Today the victims of the Second world war are commemorated in the Netherlands. Out of respect for their role in the Second World War, we have burned a candle on the two graves of Winfred Fortescue and Elisabeth Star. Just as Winfred once lit a candle on Elisabeth's grave and watched it light up long from her house, as a sort of salute.

 A wonderful tribute Jan, thank you for doing this and sharing it with us - Peter, Webmaster

The candle burning at Opio

  • Julie Bradby, Australia,, 12th April 2021

    Oh my goodness I so love these books because they hark back to a forgotten age where women really did things so significant and real on their own !!! So they are so important with to present and future inspiration for young women as they find lives fulfilled not yearning or always putting off their own wishes and endeavours. To establish a home and a garden for oneself or a family is perhaps one of our very special aims in life and this book shows how an older woman has done it and so well !!!

 Welcome to the site Julie, I completely agree! - Peter, Webmaster

  •  Catherine Salmon, Opio, France,, 31st March 2018

Hello, I walked by Fort Escu house this morning with my dog, i live pretty close to it, i'm French. I checked about it back home on my computer,as i love old places...i'm now going to learn about this english family who lived there when Opio was kind of a lost area!

Thanks for it!

Dear Catherine, many thanks for your email and welcome to the website! I was very envious when I read you were walking past Fort Escu. We live in Warwickshire in the centre of the UK and the weather here is terrible, wet and cold. Our daughter and family live in Nice and we are often down in the south enjoying the sunshine. When I can I love to visit Opio and walk around. When Lady Fortescue lived in the house in the 1930’s it must have been very different. If ever you want any of her 7 books about Opio & Grasse do let me know. The first book she wrote is ‘Perfume from Provence’. Author Maureen Emerson, who used to live near Opio for over 20 years, has written a book all about Lady Fortescue called ‘Escape to Provence’. She is just about to launch a new book, ‘Riviera Dreaming,’ (, and this will take place at the English Book Centre at Valbonne on Saturday 14th April at 3pm. I will also be there so if you are in the area do call in.

Thank you again for your message, do keep in touch with the website - Peter, Webmaster

  • Alan Crew, Manchester,, 17th January 2018

Hello and good evening, It's a long time since I posted on here but I'm delighted to see the site is still going. I'm trying to remember which book Lady F and Mademoiselle go to the coast, and stay in coastguard cottages. Can anyone help? I know I should take the time to read through all my Lady F books, but I'm just being impatient!

Thank you

Good to hear from you again Alan, yes still going strong! It's in 'Sunset House', Winifred and Elisabeth go off to the studio at St. Tropez while the builders are preparing the house - Peter, Webmaster

  • Su Mace, Buckingham, UK, 9th September 2017

I have loved Perfume in Provence, a go back to book. Reading more about Lady Fortescue and her life is fascinating and I intend to buy some of her other books second hand. Wonderful.

Welcome to the site Su and thanks for your comments. If you need any help locating the other 6 books do get in touch, there are usually some available. Don't forget that Maureen Emerson has a very small number of copies of her wonderful book 'Escape to Provence' - the true story of Winifred Fortescue and Elisabeth Starr. It's also available as an e-book from Amazon UK. Visit for more details - Peter, Webmaster

  • Adam Ralph, Dorset, UK,, 27th July 2017

Having found 1946 edition ('printed to the authorised ecomomy standard') in my late father's bookcase, I read and enjoyed it at the time, and are just re-reading, it is so much more gentle than Peter Mayle's various works. I had no idea Lady Fortescue had written so much, will be adding them to my must read list. Wonderful website by the way.


Welcome to the site Adam and thanks very much for the kind remarks. Get in touch if you need help to obtain her other 6 books! - Peter, Webmaster.

  • Lynne Tildesley, West Yorkshire, UK,, 20th July 2017

Discovered this lovely writer in the 1980s. Her books have travelled all over the world with me from Africa to New Zealand and still delight.

Welcome to the site Lynne, like you I nearly always have one of the books with me! - Peter, Webmaster.

  • Irene, The Netherlands, 23rd May 2017

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.

  • Mariela Pez, Spain,, 23rd May 2017

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...

Thank you!

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, all 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 about it.

Peter, Webmaster.

  • Ian Hughes, England,, 29th March 2017

Having just discovered Perfume from provence in Bromley House library (, 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 and

 Thanks again for visiting and do keep in touch. If you want to purchase your own copies I usually have some available. - Peter, Webmaster.

  • Mariela P, Spain,, 15th January 2017

Hello everyone!

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!

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.

  • Doris Long, SC, USA,, 15th September 2016

Dear Peter,

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.

  • Kate Forster, Emerald, Victoria, Australia,, 12th January 2016

Dear Peter

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 enjoy:

Warmest regards,


Dear 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

  • Mariela, Spain,, 4th October 2015

Good evening!

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)

Dear 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 -
Peter, Webmaster

  • 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 it!

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?

Kind regards,

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! 

Re the 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.

  • Jacky Bock, Perth, Australia,, 29th May 2015

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.

  • Doris Long, SC, USA,, 22nd May 2015

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, ( 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

  • Maureen France, Provence, France,, 8th May 2015

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.

  • Sally Stevens,, UK, 19th January 2015

Trying to find out more about 'Dusty Pages' written by Joyce Margaret Fortescue.

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

  • Sarah H,, 16th December 2014

My 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 an Australian, Don Edge, where you can trace all Fortescue’s! Link below - Peter, Webmaster.

  • Roger Jones,, Texas, USA, 19th June 2014

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!

You 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.

  • Richard Chambers,, Ormskirk, 19th June 2014

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.

Welcome to the site Richard, enjoy Sunset House and possibly the other 5 books! - Peter, Webmaster

  • Barbara,, Provence, France, 12th June 2014

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 spaniels!

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.

  • Roger Jones,, Texas, USA, 11th January 2014

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

  • Roger Jones,, Texas, USA, 24th November 2013

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 memory.

Best Wishes From Texas,

Gary Jones

Thanks very much indeed Gary - visits from you and other fans keep the site alive! - Best wishes, Peter, Webmaster

  • Vicky Jones,, Shropshire, 13th October 2013

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

  • Lorna Tones,, North Pennines, Co. Durham,16th March 2013

Just read '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 - Peter, Webmaster

  • Anita,, Cornwall, 26th January 2013

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

  • Roger Jones,, Texas, USA, 4th October 2012

Peter, It is always good to check in and see your site alive and kicking.
Thank you,

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, Webmaster.

  • Barbara Troxler,, High Point, NC, USA, 4th August 2012

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.

  • Vicky Jones,, Shropshire, 12th June 2012

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, Vicky.

Glad you enjoyed the locations and St. Malo in particular - Peter, Webmaster.

  • Elaine Bullars,, UK, 8th June 2012

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 endured.

Many thanks.

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.

  • Vicky Jones,, Shropshire, 16th April 2012

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, Webmaster.

  • Dorothy Mountford,, Nottingham, 27th March 2012

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 - Peter, Webmaster.

  • Howard Grattan,, Johannesburg, South Africa, 20th February 2012

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, Webmaster.

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 Provence'.

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 - 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.

  • Carol L, Mansfield, Australia, 7th October 2011

Bombs, flowers, France, England - what more could anyone want? I enjoyed finding and visiting this site.

Glad you enjoyed it and welcome - Peter, Webmaster.

  • Malcolm, Buckinghamshire, 9th June 2011

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 - 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.

  Port of Nice    Mimosa Tree

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, Webmaster.

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 site at - Peter, Webmaster.

  • Roger Jones,, Texas, U.S. 4th September 2010

Welcome to the site, Christine! Immediately get a copy of Maureen Emerson's book,
'Escape to Provence'.

Here here - Peter, Webmaster.

This is an absolute delight to find likeminded people who love this wonderful writer. I thought I was alone!
Since the 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.

I haven't had an opportunity yet to find the Domaine but I shall one day. It is such a relief to know that
she 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 was somehow lost!

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 going strong!

Thanks Roger, will be adding some more items as soon as possible - Peter, Webmaster.

Hi Peter
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.

Kind regards

Great to hear from you - more to come this year on the site - Peter, Webmaster.

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 are wonderful.


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 site!



Great to hear from you Howard, we keep spreading the word! - Peter, Webmaster.

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 this is?

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 insights.

Ellen Lockwood

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.

Nicole Livermore

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 beautiful writing.

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 certain generation.

Best from Texas,

Roger (Gary)

Sounds interesting, I will try it! - Peter, Webmaster.

Hello Peter,

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.

Roger (Gary)

Thank you for the kind comments and support - Peter, Webmaster.

Dear Peter

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.

Kind Regards,

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 Visitor's Book.

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. Click 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.


A 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 readers.

Beauty for 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.

An acute 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.

All best,

Nice to hear from you Doris, working on new pages at the moment - Peter, Webmaster.

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'.


Guy Cheeseman

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, Webmaster.

Fort France 2009 Fort France 2009

Fort France 2009

Fort France 2009 Fort France 2009

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 it!

Thanks for the message Alan, I certainly hope to be there and am spreading the word! - Peter, Webmaster.

  • Ginger Vawter, U.S.A. 10th June 2009

Recently 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 charming book.

I found 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.

Ginger Vawter

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 well.


Nice to hear from you Roger and thanks very much - Peter, Webmaster.

  • Christine Elliott, New Zealand, 31st May 2009

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 authors.

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.

Yours truly.

Andy Battye.

Very interesting Andy and another connection, thanks - Peter, Webmaster

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 Starr.

Thank you Maureen, a good response - Peter, Webmaster

  •  Ruth Hay-Gibson, 2nd May 2009

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 

I haven't 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, Webmaster

  • Val P, 27th March 2009

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 person.  

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

Dear Peter,

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.

Kind Regards,

Thanks for the update and information Doris - Peter, Webmaster

  • Lilian Guy, Australia, 1st March 2009

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.

Warmest Regards
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! - Peter, Webmaster

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 (02.03.08).

Welcome to the site Lynne - Peter, Webmaster.

  • Frederique Hill,, 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.

  • Nick Valentine, Ashtead, 04/11/2008

Dear Peter,
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.

Again, many thanks for a most interesting and informative website.

Yours sincerely,
Nick Valentine

Road sign at the entrance to Admiral's Walk - Photo Nick Valentine

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, Webmaster.

  • Alan Rooney, West Sussex, 27/10/2008

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 to Maureen.

Best wishes to all,

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, Webmaster.

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 connection.

Not surprisingly, I highly recommend Escape to PROVENCE.

Thanks Roger - Peter, Webmaster.

Dear Peter, 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.

Kindest Regards,

Thanks Doris, you are one of the first to review the book, glad you enjoyed it - Peter, Webmaster.

Hi Peter, 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

Best wishes
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.

Peter & Maureen Emerson at the book launch at Valbonne  Peter & Marc Streitz, Olive Farmer and advisor to Maureen

To see more pictures of the book launch click here

  • Steve Cox, Kenilworth, U.K. 28/06/2008

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 Valbonne.

Thanks very much, it is a great book - Peter, Webmaster.

  • Gay Place, Mougins, Fr,, 10/05/2008

    Interested to buy any books that come up. I think your web site is good and very well illustrated Thank you for all the information.

    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 Evelyn Desiree Battye
published by BACSA (December 1984)
paperback of 250 pages
ISBN Numbers,
ISBN-10: 0907799094, ISBN-13: 978-0907799092.

  • Ruth Hay-Gibson, North Yorkshire, England, 21/02/2008

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 lyrical life.

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:

My French Life by Vicki Archer

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 style.

Hello 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 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 is well worth visiting - Peter, Webmaster.

  • Sylvain 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.

Yours faithfully,
Sylvain Clapier

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, Webmaster

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 community.

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 reception. 

From Vicky Jones

Film crew at Hartland Abbey

Hartland Abbey Walled Garden

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.

Opio from Sunset House

Olive Grove from Sunset House towards Opio

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 nice read.


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.

Regards, Doris

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, Webmaster.

  • Joan Wilson, 13/12/2006

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.

  • Georgina Taylor, Mid Wales, 10/12/2006

Delighted to rediscover 'Perfume From Provence' during bad weather, when I was stuck by the fire twiddling fingers. What a delight to read!


Many thanks.

I liked your site.

Many thanks.

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 appreciated.

Thank you so much.

Susan Jerrell

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, Webmaster.

  • Nick Valentine, 8/11/2006

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?


Nick Valentine

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 Starr.

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.

Kind regards,


Thanks very much, have passed on message to the enquirer - Peter, Webmaster.

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.

Best Regards,

Doris Long

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, Webmaster.

  • Maureen Emerson, Sussex, UK, 21/08/2006

Dear Peter

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 interesting.

With best wishes

Maureen Emerson
Sussex, UK

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 sharing... Janis

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 lengthy process.

Dear Friends

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 perhaps?

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.

A great site where one can enjoy the thought of a great mind long departed. Cheers for the good work!

This 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.

Kind regards

Re the 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.

Click here to visit the new page.

Hello 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.

A brief 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.

I have e-mailed you directly re obtaining a copy.

I am 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?

Many thanks

Ann Caine

Thanks for the kind remarks Lorayne and welcome to the site. Hope you generate some interest in the book.

What a 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 offer.

Very best wishes

Mrs Lorayne Thompson.

Contact Lorayne direct at the above email address for details - Webmaster

I read 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 favourite.


The 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. ( London).

My 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.

Welcome 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.

A 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 seen these?

This is 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?

Thanks to Veronica who got in touch about the Jogging Round Majorca book by Gordon West. Its on the way to you today!

David, be sure to visit where you can track all Fortescue's.

  • David Reading, UK, 19/07/2005

I have 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.

Some 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.

Just 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.

This site gets better and better. Thanks!

  • Margaret & Tony Smith, Warwickshire, 06/06/2005

Hello 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


Hi Jill and a warm welcome to the site - will be in touch re books in Australia shortly. Nice to have another Fortescue on board.

Hi 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:)


Joyce 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.

She was married to Colonel Peter Fitzwilliam CAREW ( the son of Rev Henry William CAREW and Maud Elizabeth TAYLOR) on 10 Apr 1919.

Research is continuing!

Thanks for the kind comments and welcome to the site Denise! Have e-mailed you re obtaining books in Australia.

Highly 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!!!

Hello 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

Hello 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.

Welcome to the site David !

How 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 site.

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 breath.

Many thanks


I was 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.

Sorry 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 !

Hello 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

How 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.

Kind Regards


Thanks 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 demolished ??

Do you have a copy of "Combat and Carnival" by Peter Carew?

Dear 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.

Kind regards

Rhona Wells

I have read all of "her" books and am happy to discover a website devoted to her. Thank you!

Have e-mailed you directly re obtaining a copy of 'There's Rosemary There's Rue'. Best wishes.

Have 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

Sorry 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

This 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.

On a 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.


With 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.

Thanks 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.

Good 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!

Hello 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.

Having 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.

Having 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.


Oops! my mistake, well spotted, thank you.

With a 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).

In 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 mother.

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.

Many 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.

I write 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, 2004

I first 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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