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Lilac Days

The True Story of the Secret Love Affair That Altered the Course of History
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The Lilac Days: The True Story of the Secret Love Affair That Altered the Course of History by Gavan Naden
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The story of a secret affair that would have rocked the establishment and changed the course of history. This series of letters, photographs and first-hand accounts is a true story of forbidden love and inevitable tragedy between Princess Diana's grandfather Lord Fermoy and an ordinary American woman. Maurice Roche met Edith Travis during a long train journey across America at the height of the First World War. There began an impassioned and impossible affair, culminating in Edith giving up everything and moving three thousand miles with her two young sons to be near the man she had fallen hopelessly in love with. Yet as the passion and longing grew there was an overwhelming sense of duty and realism striking deep into the relationship. Maurice knew that if he claimed the title of Lord Fermoy and married his newly divorced American sweetheart they would be ostracised by English aristocracy. Instead, the couple learned to cope by living a lie, allowing the course of history to continue as it was meant to be. But neither of them could give each other up, no matter how hard they tried. For over 40 years the lovesick couple, based on different sides of the Atlantic Ocean, wrote hundreds of letters to each other. Risking everything for the delight of snatched hours and days together, they found in each other what was missing in themselves. Now the silence is broken and we are delighted to present the full account of a story that combines the forbidden love of The Bridges of Madison County with the passion and guilt of Brief Encounter.

Author Biography

Maxine Riddington is a freelance journalist contributing to national newspapers and women's magazines on a range of relationship and travel features. In the course of her work on Frances: The Remarkable Story of Princess Diana's Mother, she formed a unique and enduring friendship with Maurice Roche's daughter, the Honourable Mrs Frances Shand Kydd. Gavan Naden trained as a current-affairs journalist in London, and his career spans over fifteen years of working on national newspapers and magazines. He has written, researched and edited on a variety of news and lifestyle issues, and has been acclaimed for his investigative journalism.
Release date Australia
March 7th, 2005
  • General (US: Trade)
Country of Publication
United Kingdom
16 b/w plates (16pp), With index
HarperCollins Entertainment
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