Edwina Mountbatten.

By Janet Morgan

Printed: 1991

Publisher: Harper Collins. London

Edition: First edition

Dimensions 16 × 24 × 6 cm

Language: English

Size (cminches): 16 x 24 x 6

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Item information


In the original dustsheet. Navy cloth binding with gilt title on the spine.

  • F.B.A. provides an in-depth photographic presentation of this item to stimulate your feeling and touch. More traditional book descriptions are immediately available.

When Edwina Ashley, god-daughter of Edward VII, came out in 1920 she was the most intriguing and intelligent of the debutantes of her day. When her grandfather, Sir Ernest Cassell, died the following year she also became the richest. In 1922, she married Louis Mountbatten, and embarked upon a career that kept her in the public eye for the rest of her life. Hitherto, accounts of her life have seen her only as Mountbatten’s wife. Janet Morgan, with full co-operation from the family, has set the record straight. She discusses her glamorous years of parties and travels, her numerous affairs, and the way in which the war gave her great energy a focus. She worked tirelessly for the Joint War Organization of the Red Cross and St John’s Ambulance. After the Japanese surrender she toured the Southeast Asia prison camps organizing medical supplies and the return of POWs. There follows the climax of the Mountbattens’ career: their time in India as the Viceroy and Vicereine. Janet Morgan is the first to have seen the correspondence between Edwina and Nehru and she makes full use of it to describe their important relationship – the most intense of Edwina’s life.

Review: “In many respects Edwina was indeed better informed than Secretaries of State for Foreign affairs, the Colonies, Commonwealth Relations, men who were generally either new to the job or the prisoners of their own and their officials’ prejudices. Edwina had formed her own views over many years. She compared notes with Dickie and she was also influenced by Nerhu, whose letters offered a steady supply of information and opinion. (He was not infallible. Ho Chi Minh, the Communist President of North Vietnam, struck him as ‘one of the most likeable men I have come across. He gives one the impression of integrity, goodwill and peace.’) Discussions with Nerhu, Dickie, their colleagues and the Mountbattens’ friends, together with her own experience – all this gave Edwina an unparalleled vantage point. She was considered left-wing; in fact she was a peace loving, romantic democrat. Her myopia was more pronounced when she looked east towards the Urals; westward, her eyes were sharp. Edwina was constantly irritated by what she considered the rabid anti-communism of the Americans. When she mentioned in her diary, in April 1949, that she had spent an evening seeing ‘lengthy and questionable films’ with Dickie’s shipmates, she was referring not to anything sexually suggestive but to “The Iron Curtain”, an American film about a Soviet Spy ring. The Sunday service on an American destroyer was full of reference to the hydrogen bomb, Edwina told Nerhu in May 1957; ‘Poor old God gets brought into everything nowadays.'”


           Louis and Edwina Mountbatten early in their marriage, this picture already shows their different views.

Edwina Cynthia Annette Mountbatten, Countess Mountbatten of Burma, CI, GBE, DCVO, GCStJ (née Ashley; 28 November 1901 – 21 February 1960), was an English heiress, socialite, relief worker and the last Vicereine of India as the wife of (the then) Rear Admiral The 1st Viscount Mountbatten of Burma.

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