Last Curtsey: The End of the Debutantes

Last Curtsey The End of the Debutantes Once upon a time the well bred daughters of Britain s aristocracy took part in a female rite of passage curtseying to the Queen But in this ritual was coming to an end Under pressure to shine not

  • Title: Last Curtsey: The End of the Debutantes
  • Author: Fiona MacCarthy
  • ISBN: 9780571228607
  • Page: 416
  • Format: Paperback
  • Once upon a time the well bred daughters of Britain s aristocracy took part in a female rite of passage curtseying to the Queen But in 1958 this ritual was coming to an end Under pressure to shine not least from their mothers the girls became the focus for newspaper diarists and society photographers in a party season that stretched for months among the great housesOnce upon a time the well bred daughters of Britain s aristocracy took part in a female rite of passage curtseying to the Queen But in 1958 this ritual was coming to an end Under pressure to shine not least from their mothers the girls became the focus for newspaper diarists and society photographers in a party season that stretched for months among the great houses of England, Ireland and Scotland Fiona MacCarthy traces the stories of the girls who curtseyed that year, and shows how their lives were to open out in often very unexpected ways as Britain itself changed irreversibly during the 1960s, and the certainties of the old order came to an end.

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      Published :2019-06-18T02:09:30+00:00

    About "Fiona MacCarthy"

    1. Fiona MacCarthy

      Fiona MacCarthy Is a well-known author, some of his books are a fascination for readers like in the Last Curtsey: The End of the Debutantes book, this is one of the most wanted Fiona MacCarthy author readers around the world.

    774 thoughts on “Last Curtsey: The End of the Debutantes”

    1. Loved this so much, and it had a lot more than I expected. The scope of this is much bigger than the title suggests - it's essentially a book about the decline and fall of high society (to almost borrow David Cannadine's title, I still need to procure and read his book) in the fifties. It's glorious if, like me, you're addicted to learning about the upper classes. It's got names, places and details that no other book has and for good reason as it's written by someone who actually lived through i [...]


    2. This would be 3.5* is it would let me!I'd rate this book 4* for how much I enjoyed it as I found the information fascinating and loved the number of photos, images of invitations and diary entries which really added a human element.Where this loses a star is the lack of focus. Fiona MacCarthy has tried to make it a memoir, a look at 1958 in particular and a social history but the book is just too short to do any of these aspects justice. With a more defined aim I think this book could have been [...]


    3. undecided about this book. Interesting subject but poorly executed. After a while the name-dropping just makes your head spin (although it shows the importance of names in this world). Sadly the most interesting part - the careers of the debs post-1958 is confined to a few end pages.


    4. “The Last Curtsey” was a really satisfying read. Ms. MacCarthy went into the 1958 presentation season knowing that there was a place for her at Oxford in her future. She describes the history and customs surrounding being presented at court (though I still don’t know why women had to wear those peculiar looking feathers in their hair) and her experiences during the final season in 1958. Queen Elizabeth announced that presentations would cease. Rumor had it that Prince Philip was trying to [...]


    5. I've had this book on my to-read list for a while, but it was just old enough to not have a Kindle option and I wasn't interested in buying it as a physical copy. When I was in the store a few weeks ago, there was a big stack of them for $6 apiece, and for that much I bought it to read and then give away.The book was very interesting, and I found it to be totally worth the time to read. My knowledge of the London Season and the debutantes therein is limited to Regency-style romance novels, and I [...]


    6. This book is a fascinating read; the last formal vestige of the “marriage market”; nowadays conducted with so very much more subtlety and informality; as indicated in Peter York & Ann Barr’s later Sloane Ranger Diary. Perhaps the most important change in the ‘marriage market’ is that since the invention of the contraceptive pill, families have not been required to worry about getting their ‘gals’ to the altar, unsullied. Who could have imagined the consequences to society of th [...]


    7. Fiona MacCarthy is in a unique position to write this book - she was one of those last debutantes to curtsey before the Queen in 1958. And you may scoff and ask why should I be interested in a bunch of upper class women taking part in what was considered even then an outdated social practice. To answer your question - because of the time. The world was rapidly changing, and with it, the role of women in society. During WW2 many women took on new roles, and the reluctance to give them up was obvi [...]


    8. I found this book a lot more interesting than I'd anticipated. It's effectively about the end of an era, the end of the Season, the final débutantes to be presented to the Queen, the changing mores and attitudes of the aristocracy. The death-knell for the aristocracy was effectively cast by the First World War, but its death-throes lingered well into the 50s. In a way, the world painted in this book is more redolent of the pre-WW1 era than the 1950s.MacCarthy herself was one of the last débuta [...]


    9. I bought this book when I was visiting one of the Royal Palaces as I thought it would be an interesting topic. The story of the last year of presentations before the Queen is good as it shows how mixed up Britain was with some people holding on to old traditions while about them things were changing dramatically. The problem with this book was that it just wasn't clear what the view of the author was or what the focus was. Sometimes it was about the season and sometimes it was about the life of [...]


    10. I really enjoyed this book. It is the first book of Fiona MacCarthy's that I have read and I wanted to start with something slim before I took on the bag breaking tomes of William Morris and Byron. I discovered that she has a very accessible writing style. MacCarthy went through the last official Season in 1958. She justifies the existence of the phenomenon whilst still sighing at the "silliness" of all the behaviours. She has led a pretty privileged lifestyle; but at no point does she seem to t [...]


    11. Fascinating to read about the debutants and their family lifestyles as it is so different to the society now and my family.However, I felt this book didn't really know what it wanted to be. Was it Fiona MacCarthy's autobiography, was it is a review of the debutants in 1958 or was it a social history of debutants. It also got confusing at times as lots of names were mentioned that meant nothing to me so it was difficult to keep track of everyone.I enjoyed the book and learnt a lot about the some [...]


    12. Really enjoyable read. Not especially in depth examination of the role of debs in history, but a clear sense of the tedium of the season. Would have liked more about the pre 20th C, the establishment of this glorified cattle market etc. It is not short of references though (c. 45% of the book is source material references and indexing) so I might find some deeper analysis amongst the books listed in there. I like her writing voice, it's rather like being taught history by Joyce Grenfell (appropr [...]


    13. After visitng Kensington Palace and seeing the debutante exhibition - I really looked forward to reading this book. It was enjoyable to read, giving a debutante's view of the last curtsey. However, I did find it a bit too factual at times - lots of name dropping of people who I didn't know and at times it became confusing.




    14. An interesting look at a piece of social history. It clarifies what life as a debutante was like. It is well written,


    15. This was not worth reading. I bought it in Scotland, hoping for a social history, meaty analysis. Nope, it was overly precious, self-aggrandizing, and awful. Reinforced debutante stereotypes.




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