to visit the site. Garden, Art & 2010 visits.
here to see the slide show of The Domaine garden.
SOME MORE INTERESTING BOOKS
ON SOUTHERN FRANCE
Escape to Provence by
Two Vagabonds in Languedoc
by Jan &
The Good Straight Englishwoman by Amanda Davies.
Americans And The Making Of The Riviera
by Michael Nelson.
Queen Victoria and the Discovery of The Riviera by Michael Nelson.
The French Riviera A Literary Guide For Travellers by Ted Jones.
The Olive Farm Series by Carol Drinkwater
Dog Trots Globe
Author Maureen Emerson
and a very warm welcome!
Thank you for
visiting the site which has developed from a love of Lady Winifred Fortescue's books, France, and in particular, Provence and the Alpes-Maritimes.
At the height of their popularity, in the 1930's - 40's, her books
sold many thousands of copies making Winifred Fortescue a best
selling author and bringing overnight fame. Concerned
that interest in her books and her amazing life might fade with the
passage of time, it was a delight to find that when Black Swan
re-published some of the books in the 1990's they became best
sellers once again. Perfume from Provence was serialized for
BBC Radio 4 and released on a BBC audio cassette tape in the 1990's.
The reader was the well known British actress Stephanie Cole.
Winifred Fortescue was a woman
ahead of her time who, faced with various forms of adversity,
would turn her hand to anything, make a go of it and generally
succeed - usually but not always with a touch of laughter. I hope
the web site will help to keep her work alive and allow you to enjoy
some of the locations and personalities that Winifred knew and, in
addition, introduce new generations to the delights of Perfume
After 75 years, and for the first time since 2000, Perfume
from Provence has been re-published by Summersdale and is now
that Winifred & John Fortescue moved to in the 1930's
has changed almost beyond recognition. Her view down the mountain from
'Sunset House' now reveals a golf course resort, out of town shopping
centre and many developments and roads although Opio village is largely
unchanged. Grasse & Cannes have grown considerably and Nice, of
course, is a very busy cosmopolitan city and resort. That said, many of the
buildings in the books remain including the 'Domaine' and 'Sunset House',
both in private ownership. Please browse through the pages, there are currently over
100. More photographs of locations that feature in her books will be
added from time to time.
photographs, information & suggestions are welcomed. Please do use the
visitors book or send an
email via the email link. Early editions
of Winifred Fortescue's books in hardback, and even some of the
later paperback versions are becoming harder to find. Second hand
copies are sometimes
available through the web site.
was born in a Suffolk
rectory on 7th February 1888, the third child of a country rector and connected,
on her mother's side, to the Fighting Battyes of India. When she was seventeen - in order to ease the
strain on family finances - she decided to try to earn her own living and went
on the stage, performing in Sir Herbert Tree's* company, and later starring in
Jerome K. Jerome's The Passing of the Third Floor Back. In 1914 she married John Fortescue, the
King's Librarian and Archivist and famous historian of the British Army. The
marriage, in spite of a huge disparity of age between them, (some 28yrs),was a uniquely happy
one, and although Winifred Fortescue gave up her career on the stage, she later
began a successful interior decorating and dress designing business until
illness forced her to close her business down. It was at that point that she
began writing, for Punch, the DailyChronicle, the
News, finally inaugurating and editing a Woman's Page for the Morning
Herbert Beerbohm Tree founded RADA in 1904 and was Grandfather of actor
Winifred Fortescue died in
Provence, in April 1951.
A fuller biography can be found on the Lady
The French Riviera in 1937 - a short
promotional film by Andre de LaVarre
Take a look at
this 1937 promotion film to see how the Riviera looked in Winifred Fortescue's time.
January - February 2013
January has been and gone
along with the France Show 2013 which was another success
despite the snow which stopped many people getting there.
February is now half way through and the carnival season is
getting under way in the south of France, the Mimosa just
starting to flower. It's seems a little later this year possibly
as the weather has been chilly at times. The resorts on the
coast are already getting ready for the season with fresh paint
in evidence and many a restaurant having a make over.
To learn more about what is
happening in the south why not visit the magazine Riviera-Buzz
and read a great selection of articles about, amongst other
things, the Carnival, the Victorine Film Studios and much more.
Just follow the link and click
(Must give this a plug as one of the writers is the webmasters
daughter who lives in Nice).
Author Maureen Emerson is
working on her next book, 'Living and Loving on the Riviera'
and her original book 'Escape to Provence' is still
readily available through the website or as a Kindle e-book from
Julia Stagg's new book,
the third of the
Fogas Chronicles, 'The French Postmistress', will be
available from bookshops on the 25th April 2013.
It's almost time for the
France Show 2013 which is held each January at Earls Court
Exhibition Centre, London. This year the show runs from Friday
18th Jan to Sunday 20th Jan inclusive. Tickets are available now
at a reduced price until the 31st December. A great day out for
everyone interested in France and all things French. This is the
largest show of its type in the U.K. The webmaster hopes to be
there on the Friday. Look out for authors Julia Stagg and Carol
Drinkwater who plan to be at the show. Click
to visit the website and purchase tickets in advance.
France 2 TV have made a short
film about Lady Fortescue's original garden. Click
here to view. France 5 TV have also created a 5 mins. film,
here to view the garden.
A new photo has
been added to the page about Elisabeth Starr, kindly supplied by
Mark Brett its shows nurses posing for the camera at the
headquarters of the French War Emergency Fund in Paris during
the Great War. Mark has
photos of the FWEF of which Elisabeth Starr was a prominent
member and a friend of his mother. Mrs Brett was also there and
corresponded with Elisabeth in Opio for several years. It was
she who took the pictures of the Castello when it had just been
bought in 1921/22. Click here.
Author of 'Escape to
Provence' Maureen Emerson is hard at work on her new book
'Living and Loving on the Riviera'. Visit her web site at
www.maureenemerson.co.uk for updates and don't forget
'Escape to Provence' is now available for the Amazon Kindle
device at only £4.12, a bargain!
July - September 2012
Very hot in the south at
present with daytime temperatures well over 30c in the shade and
staying very warm overnight. Time for air conditioning!
Good selection of books still
available at present.
Some new copies of 'Perfume
from Provence' and a number of second hand copies of the other
titles, including a complete set of all 7 hardbacks, currently
available. Click here for
New live webcam at Grasse
giving a panoramic view or view of the cathedral. Click
Two new photos added to the
Opio village page, a view from
Castello San Peyre and an old postcard view.
From time to time people ask
about Winifred's death at a young age, only 63yrs. An additional
piece has been added to her biography page giving the details.
Click here to view
France 5 TV have made a short
film, approximately 6 mins. long, featuring Lady Fortescue's
original garden and it's current owner, Valerie de Courcel.
here to view.
'Mountain Madness' by Lady
Fortescue. Signed copy. A professional bookseller is currently
offering a 1943 1st edition hardback of this book with a genuine
signature in the form of a card pasted into the front of the
book. No dust jacket. This book has the usual photograph and
facsimile signature in addition to this. It is advertised at
£38.50 plus £3.35 UK p&p. The seller is: John T. & Pearl Lewis,
'Leaway', Tresowes Green, ASHTON, Nr.Helston, Cornwall, TR13
9SY.Tel: +44 (0)1736 762406.
Sunset over the Promenade des Anglais at Nice
'ESCAPE TO PROVENCE' FROM MARCH 2012 AVAILABLE ON KINDLE FROM AMAZON FOR JUST
"My book 'Escape to Provence' is
now on Kindle! The true story of two remarkable women. An
Englishwoman Winifred, Lady Fortescue, author of Perfume from
Provence, and an American from Philadelphia, Elisabeth Starr a
heroine of the Great War in France, sought a new life for quite
different reasons in an idyllic Provence of the early 1900s –
until yet another war changed everything. As well as the story
of two brave and adventurous women, 'Escape to Provence' is also a
portrait of an era. The price is just £4.12! ". Maureen
The Tele Matin programme on
France 2 TV recently broadcast a short film about the garden at
Winifred's original home near Grasse and its present owner,
Valerie de Courcel. Click
here to visit their site and view the film.
A reminder that
Maureen Emerson's wonderful book 'Escape to
Provence', the true story of Winifred Fortescue & Elisabeth
Starr, is still readily available direct from the publisher at
£10.99 plus £2 p&p, UK. This
really is a must for anyone interested in Winifred Fortecue.
Click here to
order a copy now.
A few brand new, (2009), copies of
Perfume from Provence are available at £6.50 inc p&p (UK). Click
The France Show 2012 show has
come and gone and a great day out was had by all! Authors Julia
Stagg and Carol Drinkwater were promoting their books and links
have been added to Julia's website on the Book and Book Sale
pages. Do have a look and find out more about this delightful
photos of the CDFP steam train service near Entrevaux on a
wet Sunday in Sept 2011.
I hope you enjoy browsing
the pages, there are now over 100!
Remember to bookmark the site and
come back often.