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HIH Grand Duchess Marie of Russia
  • March 17, 2017
  • Posted In: Royal

HIH Grand Duchess Marie of Russia (1853-1920) was the only daughter of Tsar Alexander II and the only member of the Romanov dynasty to marry into the British royal family. Despite opposition from both sides, the Grand Duchess married Queen Victoria’s second son Prince Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh, in 1874…

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HM King George V
  • March 13, 2017
  • Posted In: Royal

Though not born to rule, HM King George V (1865-1936) steered the British monarchy through the most volatile period of political and social change in 20th century history. The Great War, the Great Depression, the rise of Communism, the threat of Nazism and the Abdication Crisis all clouded his rule….

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Muhammad Ali Jinnah

The founder and first Governor General of Pakistan Muhammad Ali Jinnah (1876-1948) was known to the nation he created as Qayid-i-Azam (Great Leader). He was the leader of the All-India Muslim League from 1913 until partition was accomplished in 1947. He has most recently been depicted by Denzil Smith in the…

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Marcel Boussac

Marcel Boussac (1889-1980) was the textile magnate known as ‘King of Cotton’, the financier behind couture house Christian Dior and France’s most successful owner/breeder of thoroughbred racehorses in the 20th century. In the 1930s he was the richest man in France and produced over a fifth of the country’s cotton…

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Lucius Beebe

Café society columnist and bon viveur Lucius Beebe (1902-1966) cut a swathe through ‘crazy luxe’ Jazz Age New York with all the swagger of a seasoned flaneur. Describing his magpie mind, Beebe said ‘the Renaissance Man did a number of things, many of them well, a few beautifully. He was…

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HH Maharaja Sawai Man Singh II of Jaipur
  • February 11, 2017
  • Posted In: Royal

HH Maharaja Sawai Man Singh II of Jaipur (1912-1970) and his third Maharani Gayatri Devi were two of the most glamorous international figures in 20th century society. A nine-goal hero on the polo field, the Maharaja was the last and one of the greatest rulers of Jaipur State. The Maharani’s…

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Sir Arthur Sullivan

Sir Arthur Sullivan (1842-1900) is one of the most prolific composers of the Victorian age whose work is perhaps unfairly best remembered for his comic operettas with librettist W. S. Gilbert. Between 1775 and 1789 Gilbert and Sullivan’s satirical operettas commissioned by Richard D’Oyly Carte and produced in his purpose…

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HM King Lewanika of Barotseland
  • January 29, 2017
  • Posted In: Royal

King Lewanika of Barotseland (1842-1916) was the ruler of a nation with footprints over modern Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia and Angola. He was responsible for making Barotseland a British protectorate in an agreement brokered with Cecil Rhodes’s British South African Company. His obituary in the Journal des Missions said of…

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George Cruikshank
  • January 21, 2017
  • Posted In: Artist

The work of caricaturist and book illustrator George Cruikshank (1792-1878) was, according to John Ruskin, ‘the finest things, next to Rembrandts, that as far as I know have been done since printing was invented’. Targets for his ridicule included the Emperor Napoleon, the Prince Regent and the cult of the…

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2nd Baron Redesdale

The eccentricities of David Freeman-Mitford, 2nd Baron Redesdale (1878-1958), would have died with him had he not been father to the celebrated Mitford sisters Nancy, Pamela, Diana, Unity, Jessica and Deborah. His eldest daughter, Nancy Mitford wrote two celebrated novels, The Pursuit of Love (1945) and Love in a Cold…

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