Gone with the Windsors by P-HarpercollinsPubl


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									Gone with the Windsors
Author: Laurie Graham

When Maybell Brumby, frisky, wealthy, and recently widowed, quits Baltimore and arrives in London, she
finds that her old school chum, Bessie Wallis Warfield, is there ahead of her. Impoverished and ambitious
as ever, Wallis is on the make. Hampered by plodding husband number two, but armed with terrific bone
structure and a few erotic tricks picked up in China, Wallis sets her sights on the most eligible bachelor
in the world: the Prince of Wales, heir to the throne. Maybell, with her deep pockets, makes the perfect
ally, and her disarming dimness makes her the most delicious chronicler of the scandal that rocked a
monarchy and changed the course of history.

10th March 1932, Sweet Air, BaltimoreSix months since Danforth Brumby surrendered to the first hint of
kidney failure and left me a widow. It always was the risk in marrying an older man. Yesterday his
headstone was raised, so now it's time to look to the future. I still have my youth and my looks. Men are
already flocking to my side and women are pursuing me as always for my advice and my vivacious
presence at their dinner tables. Le tout Baltimore is impatient for my return to society, so tomorrow I shall
drive into town, place my chinchilla in cold storage, and order a selection of spring outfits from Madame
Lucille. A new chapter opens.13th March 1932A letter from sister Violet. Why not come to London,
Maybell? she begs. It will lift you out of yourself. It's impossible to remain sad for long in a house full of
children.Well, that is a matter of opinion.Pips Waldo is here, she writes. You always liked Pips. And
Judson Erlanger. Remember him? He's married to one of the Chandos girls.I'll say I remember him!
Judson Erlanger took me to the Princeton Ball.It's getting to be a real Little Baltimore over here, she
concludes. And who knows, we may even find you another husband. Melhuish knows quite everyone. I
have already endured thirteen years of Violet's condescension, brought on by her marriage to Donald
Melhuish—LordMelhuish as she reminds me with tedious regularity. The truth is, I could have snagged
Melhuish for myself, had my tastes run to cold castles and men in skirts, but I allowed Violet to have him
and I've said nothing since to disturb her smug satisfaction in her title and her connections and her
lumpen Melhuish offspring. To some, it is given to tread the wilder track, to risk the ravine in order to
conquer more majestic peaks, and I have always had a head for heights.PS, she adds. You might think
of spending some time with Doopie. She has missed you dreadfully.So there we have it. Violet doesn't
want me in London for the zest I would undoubtedly bring to her life, nor does she particularly intend to
find me a lord to marry. Tired of playing the angel of mercy, she hopes simply to saddle me with the
retard.What a trial Doopie has been to us all, a regrettable afterthought in a family already perfectly
adorned by myself and Violet. If people must have children, two is certainly enough. But our misguided
parents would have her, and they would allow her to arrive on my birthday, too."Maybell," Father said,
"you have the best birthday gift a girl could ask for."I had hoped for a new donkey cart, not an attention-
seeking brat of a sister.They named her Eveline and doted on every smile she smiled and every mew she
mewed, but Sister Eveline didn't impress me. Over and over, she'd allow a person to take away her
pacifier, then look injured and start her sobbing. She never learned to say "No." Then, after she caught
inflammation of the brain, there could be no doubt about it. The child was a vegetable."Slow" was the
word Mother used. "Slow, but special."The fact is, Eveline is stupid. Always was, always will be. I
renamed her Stupid, but she's so dumb she can't even say it. "Doopie" is the best she has ever
managed.They tried her at Elementary School, but she was an embarrassment to us all, and it was soon
decided that she would do just as well at home. She's handy with a needle, I suppose. She can knit and
crochet. And she's quite the green-thumb, which used to endear her to Father."I had given up that...
Author Bio
Laurie Graham
Laurie Graham is the author of nine novels, including The Future Homemakers of America and Gone with
the Windsors. She lives in Venice, Italy.

Delightful...If you like P.G. Wodehouse - or if British royalty is your cup of ... tea - go with the Windsors

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