Daughter of Empire by Pamela Hicks
My Life as a Mountbatten

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Though the first half of the book does little more than portray the pampered life of the upper-crust children who had to curtsey to grandmother, Hicks’ love of India and the description of her year with the queen’s world tour make it worth reading. Many fans of Downton Abbey will certainly enjoy it.
-Kirkus

Synopsis

“Lady Pamela Hicks’s joyously entertaining new memoir, arguably the poshest book that ever has or will be written” (Newsweek), is a privileged glimpse into the lives and loves of some of the twentieth century’s leading figures.

Pamela Mountbatten entered a remarkable family when she was born in Madrid at the very end of the “Roaring Twenties.” Daughter of the glamorous heiress Edwina Ashley and Lord Louis Mountbatten, Pamela spent much of her early life with her sister, nannies, and servants—not to mention a menagerie of animals that included, at different times, a honey bear, chameleons, a bush baby, and a mongoose. Her parents’ vast social circle included royalty, film stars, celebrities, and politicians. Noel Coward invited Pamela to watch him film, and Douglas Fairbanks Jr. dropped in for tea.

However when war broke out Pamela and her sister were sent to New York to live with Mrs. Cornelius Vanderbilt, while the prime minister appointed her father to be the last Viceroy of India. Amid the turmoil, Pamela came of age, meeting the student leaders who had been released from jail, working in the canteen for Allied forces and in a clinic outside Delhi. She also developed a close bond with Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru.

“If you are addicted to Downton Abbey, chances are that you will relish Daughter of Empire, a British aristocrat’s memoir of her childhood and coming of age…She is also a keen observer of a way of life now vanished, except on PBS” (The Wall Street Journal). “Not many people remain who can tell stories like Lady Pamela Hicks” (Vanity Fair).
 

About Pamela Hicks

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Pamela Hicks is the daughter of Lord Louis and Edwina Mountbatten. She was Lady-in-Waiting to the Queen both when she was a princess and following her coronation. In 1960 she married the internationally celebrated designer David Hicks. She is the author of India Remembered and lives in Oxfordshire.
 
Published September 3, 2013 by Simon & Schuster. 269 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Travel. Non-fiction
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Critic reviews for Daughter of Empire
All: 3 | Positive: 2 | Negative: 1

Kirkus

Good
on Jul 14 2013

Though the first half of the book does little more than portray the pampered life of the upper-crust children who had to curtsey to grandmother, Hicks’ love of India and the description of her year with the queen’s world tour make it worth reading. Many fans of Downton Abbey will certainly enjoy it.

Read Full Review of Daughter of Empire: My Life a... | See more reviews from Kirkus

WSJ online

Above average
Reviewed by Melanie Kirkpatrick on Oct 11 2013

Lady Pamela rarely offers an opinion of the events she witnessed. Rather her contribution—and it is a valuable one—is to provide the personal details that make history come to life.

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Washington Times

Below average
Reviewed by Martin Rubin on Nov 17 2013

The trouble with having a stiff upper lip such as that of Lady Pamela Hicks, no matter how essential it was to her survival, is that it seems to have extended into a kind of mask; and so her insider view ends up being blinkered...

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