The Quality of Love: Twin Sisters at the Heart of the Century (Hardback)
  • The Quality of Love: Twin Sisters at the Heart of the Century (Hardback)
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The Quality of Love: Twin Sisters at the Heart of the Century (Hardback)

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£18.99
Hardback 288 Pages
Published: 02/05/2024
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When her mother Celia Paget died, Ariane Bankes inherited a battered trunk stuffed with letters and diaries belonging to Celia and her twin Mamaine. This correspondence charted the remarkable lives of the Paget sisters and their friends and lovers, including Arthur Koestler, Albert Camus, Sartre and de Beauvoir, and George Orwell. 

Out of this rich archive, The Quality of Love weaves the story of these captivating and unusually beautiful identical twins who overcame a meagre education to take 1930s London society by storm and move among Europe’s foremost intellectuals during the twentieth century’s most dramatic decades. Above all, it is a sparkling portrait of the deep connection between two spirited sisters.

Publisher: Duckworth Books
ISBN: 9780715654989
Number of pages: 288
Dimensions: 216 x 135 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS

'[A] rather delicious and sympathetic book... the pleasure of The Quality of Love lies in the details, in the sometimes startling small print of the sisters' relationships... all her characters are sketched so effortlessly; you see them, and you even smell them (Orwell reeks of sardines)... there wasn't a moment when I didn't relish being in their company' Rachel Cooke, Observer

'The sisters’ charms and talent for friendship are evident, as various stars of the postwar European intellectual firmament pass through the book’s pages. Most of all, though, it is enriched by the correspondence between the twins – for, ultimately, the great love story is theirs alone' Telegraph

'Lives at the intellectual heart of the mid-20th century... Part of the book’s fascination lies in the domestic side of these intellectuals... Oh, what lives they both led!' Spectator

 '[A] deftly written memoir' Literary Review

'[A] highly entertaining and informative book' Sue Gaisford, The Tablet 

'Taking us from the high bohemia of 1930s London to the European intellectual scene of the 1940s and 1950s, Ariane Bankes weaves a story as spirited and alluring as the Paget sisters at its centre' Antonia Fraser

'Ariane Bankes has painted a wonderfully rich and lovingly nuanced portrait of her mother and aunt, devoted twins, whose lives and loves traversed the intellectual currents and crises of mid twentieth-century Europe’ Rupert Christiansen

‘A sophisticated, cultured cast of writers and thinkers are convincingly woven together through the fascination of the Paget twins, who are the magnetic centre of the story... The Quality of Love conjures a treasure trove of characters who were at the heart of their age’ Virginia Nicholson, author of Among the Bohemians

'A fascinating slice of social history seen through the lives of two dynamic, glamorous sisters. The Quality of Love also provides intriguing revelations about some of the great thinkers of the mid-twentieth century – George Orwell, Arthur Koestler, and Albert Camus – who were dazzled by the Paget twins. Hugely enjoyable' Julia Parry, author of award-winning The Shadowy Third

‘The Quality of Love illuminates an intoxicating, almost lost world as never before, but its emotional heartbeat lies in the indissoluble trajectory of sibling love running through the lives of the magnetic Paget twins’ Juliet Nicolson, journalist and author of A House Full of Daughters

'Bankes' memoir brings these beautiful, vivacious and smart women to life with tenderness, intelligence and joie de vivre. And it's an absolute must-read for any fans of Nancy Mitford's The Pursuit of Love - this is the real-life version!' Lucy Scholes, Prospect

‘A whirlwind of a biography … far stranger than fiction’ The Lady

'The record of their lives is frankly extraordinary: a quality shared by Bankes’s book... The book’s a dazzler’ TLS

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“Touching and fascinating...”

This loving and touching book follows the lives of twin sisters Ceila and Mamaine Paget and the extraordinary times they lived through. My interest occured first as I am an avid reader of anything Mitford and I knew... More

Hardback edition
Helpful? Upvote 1
Katy Wheatley

“Quite Astonishing”

This is the fascinating story of the lives of twin sisters, Celia and Mamaine Paget. Celia's daughter pieces together their extraordinary lives in an affectionate and loving homage. The twins found themselves at... More

Hardback edition
Helpful? Upvote 1

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