Thursday, 15 September 2011
Coco at Blenheim Palace: the Independent Woodstock Literary Festival
All went well in Hampstead on Monday -- thanks to everyone who came (and I have been musing over the connections between Chanel and Wallis Simpson since then). Feeling feeble after a subsequent trip to hospital (nothing too serious, but groggy after a general anaesthetic), though the sunshine was warm enough this morning for me to sit outside in the garden reading the Ham & High.
Anyway, I'm going to be speaking again at 10.30am on Sunday morning in the Marlborough Room at Blenheim Palace, as part of the Woodstock Literary Festival. It should be the perfect setting to discuss Chanel's relationship with Winston Churchill (he was born there in 1874, and proposed in the Blenheim gardens to his future wife, Clementine). Which reminds me, have you heard the anecdote about Churchill's response to a question about the circumstances of his birth? Apparently, when asked whether his mother, Lady Randolph, had been dancing at a ball in the Long Library or out with a shooting-party in the park, he replied, 'Although present on that occasion, I have no clear recollection of the events leading up to it.'
I was lucky enough to go to Blenheim earlier this year, whilst researching the story of Christian Dior's fashion show there in 1954, and it is the most incredible place -- the vast scale is staggering, yet its myriad details the catalysts for an infinite number of stories.
But on Sunday I'll be keeping to the many-layered tale of Chanel and Churchill -- with several new elements, I promise...