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Top 10 Royal and Refined Reads this Christmas

Posted on 6th November 2019 by Mark Skinner

As season three of Netflix's regal phenomenon, The Crown, hits TV screens, this Christmas is the perfect time to indulge in a spot of royal reading and channel your inner aristocrat. Please peruse our ultra-sophisticated selection below.  

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Accompanying season three of the runaway Netflix hit, The Crown – The Official History provides invaluable background information to some of the key events of Queen Elizabeth II’s reign. Focusing on the years 1956 to 1977, Lacey’s accessible, pacy account tackles political crises and personal trauma to create a rounded portrait of a redoubtable monarch and the social fabric of the times.
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From Downton to Brideshead, the English country house holds a unique place in the nation’s affections, whilst the parties thrown in their name have become legendary. This light and wickedly indulgent skip through the etiquette, decadence and star-studded guest lists of the Edwardian aristocracy’s events schedule is a beautifully presented and eloquently written window into a glamorous bygone age.
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Glamour, romance and personal tragedy; the dramatic life of Anne Glenconner, Lady in Waiting to Princess Margaret, is recounted with rapier-like wit and sparkling vivacity by the woman herself. From the euphoria of partying on Mustique to the horror of losing two grown-up sons, this is an incredible life lived to the fullest.
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Highclere Castle has a proud reputation as a bastion of traditional country house dining and entertaining. The Countess of Carnarvon takes us on a luxuriously nostalgic journey through the extensive roster of events for the festive season, from delicious banquets to present etiquette and the logistics of getting a twenty-three foot Christmas tree into the saloon.
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The second volume of Rose’s impeccably written memoirs covers the last thirty-five years of the great social commentator’s life and provides a richly evocative picture of the nation’s establishment and the sophisticated milieu of the elite. A benchmark of objective reportage, Who Loses, Who Wins is a dependably entertaining read throughout.
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One of the few people who really knows what makes Her Majesty tick, Angela Kelly has been by the Queen’s side for decades. Now the former dresser and current personal advisor provides a rare glimpse into the royal household and the unique bond that she shares with the monarch.
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An exquisite journey through the lost objects of the past that spotlights the changing uses of everyday ephemera and the evolution of processes throughout time. Mixing domestic history with a broader sense of philosophical enquiry, The Pulse Glass is a joyfully esoteric exercise in excavating the objects of bygone eras.
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Accompanied by stunning on-set photography, this debonair little book throws open the doors to Downton Abbey with a tantalising roster of quintessential country house cocktails. Combining cultivated classics with bespoke Crawley-inspired creations, The Downton Abbey Cocktail Book resounds with old fashioned glamour.
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Immensely sophisticated and effortlessly stylish, London distillery Sipsmith has carved out a not inconsiderable niche in the high-end market of gin cocktails. This elegantly designed volume contains one hundred divine drinks, all crafted from just three ingredients. Delicious, decadent and deceptively accessible, Sip is a marvelously indulgent treat this festive season.
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One of the most colourful couples of the twentieth century, Louis and Edwina Mountbatten led lives packed with incident and associated with many of the pivotal figures of the day. Andrew Lownie tells their story in this vivid, meticulously researched dual biography published to mark the 40th anniversary of Lord Mountbatten’s assassination.

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