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Love nest or den of iniquity? Cliveden has always been shrouded in mystery and scandal

The Mistresses of Cliveden by Natalie Livingstone explores the great house’s exotic history, ending with Christine Keeler, the swimming pool and the Profumo Affair

18 July 2015

9:00 AM

18 July 2015

9:00 AM

The Mistresses of Cliveden: Three Centuries of Scandal, Power and Intrigue Natalie Livingstone

Hutchinson, pp.494, £25, ISBN: 9780091954529

Well, you can’t say he wasn’t warned. Swimming pools, Nancy Astor told her son, Bill, were ‘disgustin’. I don’t trust people in pools.’ If he wanted to swim he should take a dip in the River Thames, which flowed through the grounds. But when his horse won the Oaks, Bill Astor built his long-desired pool, and before long Christine Keeler was emerging naked from the water and Cliveden was branded a den of iniquity.

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Available from the Spectator Bookshop, £22 Tel: 08430 600033. Frances Wilson is the author of The Courtesan’s Revenge and Literary Seductions.

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