Mary Anne A Novel Author:Daphne du Maurier Mary Anne who sparked the liveliest scandal ever to rock the House of Commons. Her childhood was spent in London's grubby Fleet Street, where she helped her stepfather by proofreading copy when he was too ill to hold his job in a printer's shop. Then, to escape the advances of the gentleman for whom she went to work as a housekeeper, she hasti... more »ly married a young ne'er-do-well. In order to eke out a living for them and their rapidly growing family, Mary Anne began to write short scandal columns for the London papers. Finally, when her husband's worthlessness was more than she could bear, she moved out with her four children and set about the find ways of supporting her hungry brood.
One way seemed the easiest. And Mary Anne certainly had the qualifications of beauty, charm, and temperament that spelled success for any aspiring courtesan. But in addition, she had brains and inborn shrewdness--and Mary Anne's children weren't hungry long.
Her rise to the pinnacle of trollopdom was swift, unerring, and wholly ruthless. Before the eyes of astonished London society she progressed from a private call house in Tavistock Place to become mistress of the Duke of York in his house in Gloucester Place. It was shortly after this, in an effort to make ends meet on the none too princely allowance the Duke gave her, that Mary Anne began her flourishing trade in Army promotions. It was easy to persuade the Duke, as Commander in Chief of His Majesty's Army, to get the promotions for her, and for a time a discreet, well-greased business of patronage thrived. But suddenly blackmail and loss of prestige threatened her. Mary Anne launched a campaign of vengeance that resulted in an investigation of the Duke by a scandalized House of Commons and touched off the juiciest libel action London gossips could wish for.
And so begins the story of one of the most relentless exposes in the history of political connivery. This is the candid and penetrating portrait of a fabulous womand and the equally fabulous period in which she lived and loved. The authr of Rebecca and My Cousin Rachel has written it as only she can.« less