This wonderfully gossipy novel whisks readers through the glamorous worlds of turn-of-the-century Vienna, Paris and London.
The Rakonitz family - rich, cosmopolitan and Jewish - and ruled over by the indomitable will of the matriarch, Anastasia. From her exotically furnished house in west London, Anastasia holds court over her children, grandchildren and vast extended family. For someone must resolve the quarrels, celebrate the births, deaths, engagements, bankruptcies, artistic triumphs, and explain the only way to prepare a delicious Creme Duten. With the dawning of the twentieth century, a series of scandals and financial catastrophes strike the Rakonitzes, threatening the family ties, and calling into question the legacy that binds them together.
'There is wealth here, and gaiety. There is middle European style, and food in abundance. It is very un-English, and enormously attractive.' Julia Neuberger
G. B. Stern (1890-1973) grew up in Holland Park, and published her first novel, Pantomime, in 1914. She was close to the centre of literary London, and counted Somerset Maugham, H. G. Wells, Rebecca West and Noel Coward as friends. She wrote over forty novels, several plays, short stories, works of non-fiction and memoir over her long writing career. It was the The Matriarch, the first of a series of novels based on her own family, and published as The Rakonitz Chronicles, that established her popular and critical success.
Paperback - B format
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