Amelia Earhart Research Papers

August 2, 2017

I have recently donated all my Amelia Earhart research papers to the Solent Sky Aviation Museum at Albert Road South, Southampton, Hampshire, UK. SO14 3FR.

This seemed  especially apropriate given that when Amelia flew into Southampton in 1928 in the Friendship, the seaplane landed on Southanpton Water and Amelia and her crew stepped ashore only a short walking distance from the location of this little gem of a museum.

Anyone wishing to access the papers should write to Mr David Whatley, Chief Archivist.

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August 2, 2017

August 2nd 2017

Riviera Set is well received.

I am happy to report that the hardback of The Rivera Set which was published by Little Brown of London in November 4th, 2016, was well received and reviewed in most major papers. It went into several reprints before the paperback was issued in July 2017 and  is already – within 3 weeks  – described by Amazon as ‘ a bestseller’.   The American edition is due out on September 5th and several advance reviews in USA trade papers such as KIRKUS  and Publishers Weekly are out and are favourable.   Please look under The Riviera Set for publication details in USA.

 UK issue of CAST NO SHADOW.

This book was was researched and written between 1989 and 1992. Commissioned by Pantheon (New York) for a huge advance it sold well in the USA, but never went into paperback probably because the book was ‘orphanned’ in the USA (the term used when th commissioning editor leaves a publishing company and someone else takes over the portfolio – rarely is there much interest in inherited projects.  I am afraid I had little interest in the matter at the time as my husband was dying of leukemia and the fate of a book seemed very minor in the scheme of things.  The book was offered to my UK publishers – Hutchinson in those days – but when it was scanned by the company lawyers there was consternation because I had broken any number of secrecy laws.

I had included much information that I had found in the National Archives in Washington, open there in the Political Section,  but still classified in the UK in order to protect the identity of former MI6 agents who were retired and alive. 

          Because of my domestic situation  a rewrite never happened, and in the end  this book was never was published in the UK. For many years copied traded hands at inflated prices as a sort of ‘cult’ book vy espionage collectors.

     Now that everyone concerned in the events I have written about in Cast No Shadow is dead, my present UK publishers, Little Brown, decided to issue it as a Kindle book.  As of August 1st it is available on Amazon.co.uk  for download, and I am already receiving reader’s letters about it.

       This means that all my books are in print – which is very satisfying.

New Works.

I have noticed that many of my writer friends who write novels can turn out a book – or even two books – a year. My biographies have historically taken me about 4 years to produce – 2 years for research, a year or so to write, and a year for photo research, obtaining permissions and copyright, plus any number of copy edits for accuracy and the various publishing processes.   As I am now 76, and with indifferent health, I have decided not to take on another biography, and instead I have turned to historically based fiction – faction, if you like as I will stick closely to fact and research,  but without requiring the very meticulous research required for a biography.

As a result of this decision I am present working on a Tudor based novel – with a working title of ‘Under the Crown‘   –  and if that works out, I will get to work on a book I have researched for years, set in Barbados in the 18th century, and will probably be called ‘St Nicholas Abbey‘.

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New Book will be published 3rd November 2016

October 30, 2016

My latest book, THE RIVIERA SET will be published in UK on November 3rd. Due to health issues and a major house downsize (I still can’t find some research notes and books that were important to the research) I am almost two years late in completing it. My publishers have been wonderfully understanding and it’s fair to say that probably I still wouldn’t be finished without their help.

The initial reviews – only two have appeared as I write this 5 days before pub date – have been favourable. Especially the two-page one that appeared in the Sunday Times on October 16th by Daisy Goodwin (author of VICTORIA), which absolutely made my month!

I love the jacket – though I wasn’t at all keen when I first saw the design. Everyone who has seen it has been very complimentary. Hope you enjoy it.

 

September 2016

September 12, 2016

This is a quick update motivated by the request of a reader who was concerned because I have not posted since 2013. I apologise – it was due to health issues, research and work for a new book, and several winters abroad.  And to be perfectly honest, I had better confess I had forgotten how to access my blog until I looked it up this moning!

Although the same problems of ill health and work pressures prevented me from doing any public appearances in 2016, I am making an exception for a local talk at Goodworth Clatford, nr Andover, Hampshire on Thursday September 29th 2016 at The Bookbarn (2.30).  This will be an author interview with no presentation, but with a good long audience Q & A session on the subject of The Mitford Sisters. Come along and ask any questions you wish.

I have just competed my latest book: THE RIVIERA SET  (which is a similar type of book to THE MITFORD SISTERS and THE CHURCHILLS – both of which have proved so successful).  I append a photo of the draft jacket and you can see an alternative one (it’s not yet decided) on Amazon.co.uk.

   The Riviera Set is the story of the group of people who lived, partied, bed-hopped and politicked at the Château de l’Horizon near Cannes, over the course of forty years from the time when Coco Chanel made southern French tans fashionable in the twenties to the death of the playboy Prince Aly Khan in 1960. At the heart of this was the amazing Maxine Elliott, the daughter of a sea captain from Maine, who became an international star of stage and early film, who captured the heart of the King of England, and eventually built the beautiful art deco Château which brought together the likes of Noel Coward, the Aga Khan, the Windsors and two very saucy courtesans, Doris Castlerosse and Daisy Fellowes, who set out to be dangerous distractions to Winston Churchill as he worked on his journalism and biographies during his ‘wilderness years’ in the thirties.

After the War the story continued as the Château changed hands and Prince Aly Khan used it to entertain the Hollywood set, as well as launch his seduction of and eventual marriage to Rita Hayworth.
Early review:  Mary Lovell tells her story of high society behaviour with tremendous brio and relish, and this book has all the charm and fascination of her bestselling The Mitford Girls and The Churchills.

rivieraanz_121

November 2013, looking toward a busy 2014

November 12, 2013

Readers might like to know that after a sabbatical due to ill health in 2012, I am now feeling back to normal and I am working on several new projects.

The main one is THE RIVIERA SET. This is the working title for a book which describes the lives of a set of people who in the 30s,40s and 50s populated the Cote d’Azur. Between 1930 until 1939 those who owned the palatial properties on the French Riviera were mainly British, and their guests tended to be visiting members of the British upper classes, and those who moved in the same circles, escaping English winters and in some cases temporary notoriety, for example: Winston Churchill, the Duke of Windsor (and Wallis Simpson), Anthony Eden, Lloyd George, Lady Thelma Furness & Gloria Vanderbilt (the Morgan sisters), Kitty Rothschild, Lord Beaverbrook, Noel Coward, the Aga Khan Nancy Mitford, Debo Devonshire, Lady Diana Cooper, Princess Daisy Fellowes, Oswald Mosley etc
After the War it was mainly rich Americans and their circle who took over the beachfront villas, restored and even surpassed the previous opulence and set the tone for society in the sunshine, for instance Prince Aly Khan, William Waldorf Astor, Rita Hayworth, Gene Tierney, Lloyd , Pamela Harriman, Gianni Agnelli, Greta Garbo, Yvonne de Carlo, Rhonda Fleming, Fred Astaire, Charlie Chaplin, Judy Garland, Douglas Fairbanks, Maurice Chevalier , Kim Novak Prince Rainier, Grace Kelly, Cary Grant, Elsa Maxwell, Jacqueline Kennedy, Aristotle Onassis, Maria Callas, Irene Papas, … and many more British and American celebrities?
This book seeks to explore the manner in which these celebrities lived and partied. I intend to write this in a similar style as that of the Mitford Sisters. The research is mostly finished, and I have begun the writing phase, and hope to hand it to my publishers in a year’s time: November 2014.

Also, still on the stocks,
The Secret Diaries of Bess of Hardwick a partially (7/8ths) completed novel.
St Nicholas Abbey a novel about the lives of the early (17th century) plantation owners of Barbados. I’ll return to these when the Riviera Set is completed.

 

Mary’s Blog

November 29, 2012

December 2011 Newsletter

  2011 was a busy year of relentless book promotion  – so busy that I now notice I didn’t even update  the blog schedule with some of the events.  In summary though, The Churchills has sold well, and the paperback edition will be published in February in the UK and about May in the USA. My agent is presently negotiating the sale of the screen rights to a film producer whose work I greatly admire and I am hoping that this reaches a satisfactory conclusion.

    On October 1st, while returning from giving a talk in Kent, my car was involved in a major high-speed car smash (not my fault), from which my PA and I were fortunate enough to walk out of my written-off Mercedes with just soft tissue damage.  This more or less coincided with my 70th birthday and I decided that I would permanently retire from the lecture/talks circuit and spend my energies writing.

   Following the discovery of some important new historic material, which I was not able to use in a biographical context, I had already begun working on a novel about one of my favourite personalities, Bess of Hardwick, and the unsolved real-life murder of her third husband, the love of her life Sir William St Loe in 1565.  This has been my work since the autumn and I will be working on it during the winter.

    Meanwhile, I am also researching material for a novel based in Barbados in the 17th Century –  it has a similar theme: three people, passion, money and property, and a probable real-life murder that was never proved. I have been researching this subject for some years and I am now almost ready to begin writing a novel rather than the biography I had originally planned for it.

      The Bess novel (working title; The Secret Diaries of Bess of Hardwick) should be completed in February 2012, and the rest of the year will be spent working on the Barbados novel (working title: St Nicholas Abbey).

   As always, I am usually contactable by email – wherever I am in the world – at mlovell2002@yahoo.com

  Happy Christmas and sincere thanks for your continued support!  Mary

*   *   *   *   *   *   *

Spring and Summer 2011

Churchills Talks Schedule

The schedule for April – October is still being organised at present and will be posted shortly. The following events are those to which I have already agreed.

March

12th.  Kings Sutton Literary Festival,  Kings Sutton Memorial Hall, Oxfordshire OX17 3PG. Contact: Rona Rowe rona@ronarowe.co.uk  

April

7th Publication date of The Churchills.

May

9th – 31st  USA lecture tour for Royal Oak Foundation (and others) of East Coast cities: Washington DC., Philadephia, New York and Boston. For times and details please go to www.royal-oak.org

June

9th.  6.30 The Holt Bookshop, 10 Appleyard, Holt, N. Norfolk.  Mary will be in conversation with Brian McArthur (Ex-Deputy Editor of The Times and Books Ed of the Telegraph), and take questions from the floor. Contact: David Makinson tel: 01263 715 858. davidmak@btinternet.com

23rd. 7pm Beaminster Literary Supper, Bridge House Hotel, Beaminster. Dorset. COntact: Tanya Bruce-Lockhardt at Email: beamfest2@btinternet.com

July

7th.  7pm Chepstow Drill Hall, Lower Church Street, Chepstow, Monmouth. Lecture organised by Chepstow Book Shop, St Mary St, Chepstow tel: 01291 625011 contact: Matt Taylor. www.chepstowbooks.co.uk

21st. 2pm – 4pm. Booksigning at Hardwick Hall, Derbyshire.

August

31st.7.30pm Epping Bookshop, 71 High Street, Epping, Essex CM16 4BA  Contact: Lorna Clark  01992 575849

September

15th 2pm Woodstock Literary Festival, Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire : one-hour  illustrated talk on The Churchills.  For full details click on:  www.woodstockliteraryfestival.com

27th 8pm: Sherbourne Historical Society, Dorset. One-hour illustrated talk  on The Churchills. For full details contact: Kate Harris on tel: 01935 389535

30th 7.30pm. Sevenoaks Literary Festival. Ship Theatre, Walthamstowe Hall  School. One-hour illustrated talk on The  Churchills. Contact Valerie Glencross valerie@glencrosses.com

October

2nd. 3pm Henley Literary Festival. One hour illustrated talk on The Churchills. Venue Phylis Court. For  full details contact: Harriet Reed-Ryan on  tel: 0773 991 5109.

7th. 2.30pm. Knutsford Literary Festival. The event will be held in the  Leicester Warren Hall, Bexton Lane, Knutsford. The ticket price is £5 and  tickets will be available from early September, by post. One-hour illustrated talk  on The Churchills. For full details click  on website: on www.knutsfordlitfest.org.uk

11th  Brockenhurst Book Club. Members only.

12th. 4.30 – 5.30 pm Cheltenham Literary Festival. Subject: Nancy Mitford Discussion.  Details on website: www.cheltenhamfestivals.com

13th. 2.30pm  Eype Book ‘n Author  Week, Eype Centre for the Arts, Bridport, Dorset. One hour illustrated talk on The Churchills. Contact Mark Culme-Seymour on tel: 07308 898 420. Or click on: http://www.eypechurcharts.co.uk/2011_literary_festival.html

14th – 31st. Research trip to Syria

NB: No further events after this date untilMarch 2012, due to research schedule.

Film contracts signed for The Churchills!

April 3, 2012

I am still working on the historical novel (working title LEGACY), which is set in the early years of the reign of Elizabeth I and which should be completed by the end of April – at least in draft.

The paperback of The Churchills is to be published on April 11th in the UK and shortly afterwards in the USA. Meanwhile, I have signed contracts for the screen rights for The Churchills with David Aukin, who – among a string of amazing films produced the powerful TV miniseries ‘The Promise’ last year.

I will not be doing any talks this year but I have agreed to do just two events as favours. The first will be a small playlet at Hardwick Hall in July in which as a present day TV interveiwer today I am given the opportuity to interview Bess of Hardwick (played in costume by one of the Hardwick volunteers). The second event is to take place at Holkham Hall Norfolk in September and is a two-part evening devoted to Jane Digby who spent a good deal of her child hood at Holkham. The first part of the evening will be an illustrated biography of Jane Digby. Then, after a break for refreshments, I will talk about some of my own adventures while researching Jane’s time in Syria. Monies raised for this will all go to The Norfolk Churches Trust.

November 29, 2011

December 2011 Newsletter

2011 was a busy year of relentless book promotion  – so busy that I now notice I didn’t even update  the blog schedule with some of the events.  In summary though, The Churchills has sold well, and the paperback edition will be published in February in the UK and about May in the USA. My agent is presently negotiating the sale of the screen rights to a film producer whose work I greatly admire and I am hoping that this reaches a satisfactory conclusion.

On October 1st, while returning from giving a talk in Kent, my car was involved in a major high-speed car smash (not my fault), from which my PA and I were fortunate enough to walk out of my written-off Mercedes with just soft tissue damage.  This more or less coincided with my 70th birthday and I decided that I would permanently retire from the lecture/talks circuit and spend my energies writing.

Following the discovery of some important new historic material, which I was not able to use in a biographical context, I had already begun working on a novel about one of my favourite personalities, Bess of Hardwick, and the unsolved real-life murder of her third husband, the love of her life Sir William St Loe in 1565.  This has been my work since the autumn and I will be working on it during the winter.

Meanwhile, I am also researching material for a novel based in Barbados in the 17th Century –  it has a similar theme: three people, passion, money and property, and a probable real-life murder that was never proved. I have been researching this subject for some years and I am now almost ready to begin writing a novel rather than the biography I had originally planned for it.

The Bess novel (working title; The Secret Diaries of Bess of Hardwick) should be completed in February 2012, and the rest of the year will be spent working on the Barbados novel (working title: St Nicholas Abbey).

As always, I am usually contactable by email – wherever I am in the world – at mlovell2002@yahoo.com

Happy Christmas and sincere thanks for your continued support!  Mary

*   *   *   *   *   *   *

Spring and Summer 2011

Churchills Talks Schedule

The schedule for April – October is still being organised at present and will be posted shortly. The following events are those to which I have already agreed.

March

12th.  Kings Sutton Literary Festival,  Kings Sutton Memorial Hall, Oxfordshire OX17 3PG. Contact: Rona Rowe rona@ronarowe.co.uk

April

7th Publication date of The Churchills.

May

9th – 31st  USA lecture tour for Royal Oak Foundation (and others) of East Coast cities: Washington DC., Philadephia, New York and Boston. For times and details please go to www.royal-oak.org

June

9th.  6.30 The Holt Bookshop, 10 Appleyard, Holt, N. Norfolk.  Mary will be in conversation with Brian McArthur (Ex-Deputy Editor of The Times and Books Ed of the Telegraph), and take questions from the floor. Contact: David Makinson tel: 01263 715 858. davidmak@btinternet.com

23rd. 7pm Beaminster Literary Supper, Bridge House Hotel, Beaminster. Dorset. COntact: Tanya Bruce-Lockhardt at Email: beamfest2@btinternet.com

July

7th.  7pm Chepstow Drill Hall, Lower Church Street, Chepstow, Monmouth. Lecture organised by Chepstow Book Shop, St Mary St, Chepstow tel: 01291 625011 contact: Matt Taylor. www.chepstowbooks.co.uk

21st. 2pm – 4pm. Booksigning at Hardwick Hall, Derbyshire.

August

31st.7.30pm Epping Bookshop, 71 High Street, Epping, Essex CM16 4BA  Contact: Lorna Clark  01992 575849

September

15th 2pm Woodstock Literary Festival, Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire : one-hour  illustrated talk on The Churchills.  For full details click on:  www.woodstockliteraryfestival.com

27th 8pm: Sherbourne Historical Society, Dorset. One-hour illustrated talk  on The Churchills. For full details contact: Kate Harris on tel: 01935 389535

30th 7.30pm. Sevenoaks Literary Festival. Ship Theatre, Walthamstowe Hall  School. One-hour illustrated talk on The  Churchills. Contact Valerie Glencross valerie@glencrosses.com

October

2nd. 3pm Henley Literary Festival. One hour illustrated talk on The Churchills. Venue Phylis Court. For  full details contact: Harriet Reed-Ryan on  tel: 0773 991 5109.

7th. 2.30pm. Knutsford Literary Festival. The event will be held in the  Leicester Warren Hall, Bexton Lane, Knutsford. The ticket price is £5 and  tickets will be available from early September, by post. One-hour illustrated talk  on The Churchills. For full details click  on website: on www.knutsfordlitfest.org.uk

11th  Brockenhurst Book Club. Members only.

12th. 4.30 – 5.30 pm Cheltenham Literary Festival. Subject: Nancy Mitford Discussion.  Details on website: www.cheltenhamfestivals.com

13th. 2.30pm  Eype Book ‘n Author  Week, Eype Centre for the Arts, Bridport, Dorset. One hour illustrated talk on The Churchills. Contact Mark Culme-Seymour on tel: 07308 898 420. Or click on: http://www.eypechurcharts.co.uk/2011_literary_festival.html

14th – 31st. Research trip to Syria

NB: No further events after this date untilMarch 2012, due to research schedule.