The Fabulous Frances Farquharson: The Colourful Life of an American in the Highlands (Hardcover)

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From society belle in turn-of-the-century Seattle, to editor of Harper’s Bazaar and lady of a vast Scottish Highland estate that borders Balmoral Castle, The Fabulous Frances Farquharson is the colorful biography of a charming, one-of-a-kind, and sartorially flamboyant woman.

She was born Frances Lovell Oldham, a Seattle society girl who left her hometown at the age of 17 to pursue a career in Europe, and who would charm Eastern European princesses and British royalty on her travels. In the twenties, having moved to London, she partied with the Bright Young Things before becoming Mrs James Rodney, the blue-blooded wife of a cousin of Winston Churchill, and fashion editor at British Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar, when those magazines were expressively modernist in their design and output. At a time when women rarely found independent success, Frances transcended boundaries as a working woman in the thirties.

Her story was even more remarkable given she made a career comeback after fracturing her spine during a fatal house fire that killed her first husband in 1933. Promoted to editor of Harper’s Bazaar, she boosted the morale of British women during the Second World War, and successfully worked as a trade envoy to America, fiercely championing British products in boardrooms full of men. After marrying Captain Alwyne Farquharson, the 16th Laird of Invercauld (who was 17 years her junior), Frances threw herself into life at Braemar Castle as a neighbor of the Queen, bringing glamour and eccentricity to the grouse moors of Deeside. Fully embracing the shocking pink of her good friend, fashion designer Elsa Schiaparelli, she wore a polar bear coat at a time when it was acceptable to wear fur and draped herself head-to-toe in custom-made tartan outfits as a tribute to her new home in the Scottish Highlands.

Described in the press as "an intensely dynamic, tiny and compelling lady of great beauty," Frances Farquharson brought American charm and flamboyant fashion everywhere she went, and this first biography of "arguably one of the most stylish and intuitive [women] of her age" will surely fascinate and enthrall.

About the Author

Caroline Young is the author of Style Tribes: The Fashion of Subcultures, Classic Hollywood Style and the upcoming Tartan and Tweed, all published by Frances Lincoln. She has worked as a fashion writer and assistant digital editor at Herald Scotland. She has a strong interest in the history of fashion and the golden age of Hollywood, and extensively researched the period at archives in Los Angeles for both her book Classic Hollywood Style.

Product Details
ISBN: 9781803992532
ISBN-10: 1803992530
Publisher: The History Press
Publication Date: July 23rd, 2024
Pages: 256
Language: English