In April 1951, in what FBI Director J Edgar Hoover called “the trial of the century”, Ethel Rosenberg and her husband Julius were found guilty of conspiracy to commit espionage and sentenced to death by electrocution. Ethel was 35 years old and the mother of two little boys, aged eight and four. To this day, she is the only American woman ever executed for a crime other than murder. At the time, 70 per cent of the American public supported this double death sentence, but the case also sparked international outcry, not to mention increasingly frantic legal appeals. Read More
After five years work the moment you read the press release is when you know it’s real … you still don’t have an actual book in your hands, the excitement of which for me has never lessened from that first book, with my name on the spine, many years ago. But the piece of paper announcing to the world what a great book is on its way is almost more important. This is the document that will decide its fate. An advance guard, leading from the front, the harbinger of bestsellerdom, the spearhead that will go ahead of you trumpeting to potential readers what they are about to discover. Read More
One of the few enjoyable aspects of reading reviews of one’s own books (amid the violent heart lurchings which ensure that some authors determinedly never read their own reviews) is seeing what different aspects or anecdotes strike a chord with different reviewers.
One that several reviewers have noted with Les Parisiennes, and which is key to my book, is what women do in extremis to survive and what survival means to different people. I have written a piece for this month’s PORTER magazine about how some women in Paris under German Occupation believed that remaining stylish was key to their self-respect and even a form of resistance as it proved their determination not to give in.
Lucy Yeomans, in the editor’s letter, commented “at times of uncertainty fashion has historically responded with both flair and flamboyance …a subject touched upon in Les Parisiennes…”
In terms of world politics, it is hard to imagine a less certain time. Will Britain (or world fashion) manage to respond to this time with either flair or flamboyance? It would be good to think so!
Watch this space!
Read the review here