A “sparkling social history” that brings the twilight of the Edwardian era to life (Entertainment Weekly).
The Perfect Summer chronicles a glorious English summer just over a century ago, when the world was on the cusp of irrevocable change. That summer of 1911, a new king was crowned and the aristocracy was at play, bounding from one house party to the next. But perfection was not for all. Cracks in the social fabric were showing. The country was brought to a standstill by industrial strikes. Temperatures rose steadily to more than 100 degrees; by August, deaths from heatstroke were too many for newspapers to report.
Drawing on material from intimate and rarely seen sources and narrated from the viewpoints of a series of exceptional individuals—among them a debutante, a choirboy, a politician, a trade unionist, a butler, and the queen—The Perfect Summer is a vividly rendered glimpse of a bygone time and place.
“Brimming with delectable information and little-known facts . . . manages to describe every stratum of English society . . . Where Nicolson is especially good, however, is with the royals and the aristocracy, whose country estates, salons, entertainments, and affairs—discreet and indiscreet—she describes with accuracy and humor.” —The Providence Journal
“A hugely interesting portrait of a society teetering on a precipice both nationally and internationally . . . As page turning as a novel.” —Joanna Trollope