2008 News



December 2008

  • Visit the Ted Jones Website to learn about his book, The French Riviera A Literary Guide For Travellers, another book than will appeal to Fortescue fans and endorsed by Peter Mayle, no less! This book is full of information on some very well known names and their homes and life in the south of France. Click here for more information and a new page.

November 2008

  • Details of two recent books by author Michael Nelson have been added to the site, both have a strong connection with the Riviera and Fortescue era. Click here for more information and a new page.

  • New photo's & pictures added of the chapel in Holy Trinity Church, Sloane Street, London where John & Winifred were married, The Elfin Oak in Kensington Gardens, London, (taken in the gathering gloom of a November afternoon), and Queen Victoria's visit to Grasse in 1891 when she occupied The Grand Hotel.

  • Details of a lovely holiday property to rent in South West France. Click here for more information.

October 2008

  • 'Escape to Provence' was recently reviewed in the Mid Sussex Times who have very kindly allowed it to be reproduced. Another review also appears in France Today. More details on the 'Escape to Provence' page.

  • Scan of the Isis unabridged Perfume from Provence tape, (6hrs.15mins), read by Patricia Hughes in 1998, added to the page covers & dust jackets.

  • Maureen Emerson has embarked on a series of talks & book launches in France this month. Full details of dates and locations are now listed on the 'Escape to Provence' page. Do try and get to one if you are in the vicinity.

  • Looking  further ahead to 2009, Maureen will also be at The France Show, Earls Court, London, 9th -11th January, organized by France Magazine, and at Haywards Heath Library, Sussex, (date to be confirmed).

Visit the France Show 2009 web site


September 2008

  • The September issue of Riviera Reporter contains a splendid review of 'Escape to Provence'. The cover picture, possibly by co-incidence, is a lovely photograph of Opio. Click here to visit the review.

Visit the Riviera Reporter Magazine

  • A new page has been added with long awaited information and photo's of Winifred's close friend Elisabeth Starr thanks to author Maureen Emerson. More will follow. Click here to view.

August 2008

  • A lovely 1939 pencil sketch by
    Lonsdale Ragg, Archdeacon of Gibraltar, has been added to the pages on Fort Escu (Sunset House). Click here to see it.

  • 'Escape to Provence'  - update.
    The re-launching of AMB Cote d’Azur’s website with completely new features, a broader scope of articles, videos, fuller coverage of the Cote d’Azur and Provence – plus a brilliant new design and layout has taken place. The new site features a full page review of Maureen Emerson's new book which was launched in June and, in addition, a splendid 5 minute video about the book filmed in and around Opio and narrated by Maureen herself. This is a must for all fans and Maureen and the staff of the AMB site are to be congratulated. Visit the page and see the video by clicking on the link here.

  • 2 press reviews of 'Cintra's' fashions from 1921 can now be found on the Cintra page. Click here.

  • New page created with access to 1920's magazine articles written by  Winifred after the closure of her 'Cintra' fashion business. Click here.

July 2008

Maureen Emerson

Escape to Provence by Maureen Emerson, published July 2008

Now available at price £9.99 plus £2 p&p (U.K.)


June 2008

  • In Winfred's last book Laughter in Provence she recounts a tale of a niece and her husband arriving for a visit to Opio in a superb Healey Silverstone sports car which aroused great interest. The car is still in use and the present owner recently traced a son of Winifred's niece and the actual car turned up on his doorstep whilst visiting the UK from South Africa! He has kindly supplied photo's and there is a memoir from Winifred's companion secretary at the time who is featured in the story. Click here.

  • 'Escape to Provence' by Maureen Emerson was officially launched on Saturday 14th June 2008 at the English Book Centre, Valbonne, France, courtesy of the proprietor Jill Shepperd who had provided an excellent backdrop for the event. Maureen gave a short talk of about 15 minutes covering firstly the writing of the book and then a brief description of the contents. Speaking perfectly, despite claiming she had never done it before, the audience in the packed bookshop were enthralled. Afterwards she happily chatted with the visitors outside and signed numerous copies. Maureen has to be congratulated on a splendid publication. The depth of her research and the ends to which she has gone, (and places), to obtain it is quite staggering. Congratulations Maureen, a well deserved success. Click here to see some photo's of the event.

  • Howard Grattan has kindly provided two new dust jackets from editions of Perfume from Provence and Sunset House that were published by Cedric Chivers of Bath in 1974. Click here to go direct to the book page for the thumbnail pictures which have links to their respective pages. These editions appear to have been published in conjunction with the Library Association.
     - Howard has supplied two more un-seen covers from a Japanese edition of Sunset House and a Swedish edition of Perfume from Provence.

  • 'Escape to Provence' by Maureen Emerson - Update.
    This exciting new publication, the culmination of approximately 7 years work, is now being printed. The book will be available for order direct from the publisher, Chapter & Verse, at £9.99 (post free the U.K.) in July 2008.  An order form will be available to download and print in due course.

May 2008

  • The CDP narrow gauge railway, part of which used to run through The Domaine olive groves, will be operating its steam hauled service again in 2008. It will operate on Sunday only between Puget-Theniers and Annot until from 11th May until the 19th October. You can connect with the steam train by using the ordinary service from Nice CDP station. For further information click here.

  • 'Race for Life 2008' - Update. Fiona & Jane completed the 5k run at Stratford upon Avon Race Course on Sunday 18th May in great times. It was a fresh and windy morning but fortunately dry. So far they have raised nearly £700 in sponsorship and, as their employer operates a £1 for £1 scheme, this will bring the total to £1400! A fantastic effort and a huge thank you for your support. There were 2000 women runners and the day will have raised about £1 million in total for this worthy cause.

  • 'Escape to Provence' by Maureen Emerson. The story of the fascinating lives of Winifred Fortescue & Elisabeth Starr. The book will be launched at a signing by the author, in France, on Saturday 14th June 2008. It should be available, to order, in the UK in July 2008. You can see the finished cover design, read the notes and get full details of the launch by clicking on the picture below.

  • A page of photographs taken in and around Opio village submitted by P. Martin, a visitor to the site, has now been added. Click here to view them.

April 2008

  • Mac Users - if you are viewing the site on an Apple Mac or using the Safari browser on a PC please note that there are a few strange anomalies! Certain text appears misplaced or may even be missing where Word Art was used to create it. The site is constructed on a PC but I will try and synchronize it for Mac users in due course. (NOW DONE!)

  • 1908 First Night Programme from Pinkie and the Fairies at His Majesty's Theatre added. Winifred the actress appeared in this production. Click here.

  • Another early aerial photo of Opio & Chateauneuf has come into my collection and is now available to view. Click here.

  • My
    wife, Fiona, will be running in the Cancer Research UK 'Race for Life 2008' at Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire on May 18th for the 5th year running. She is joined this year by a friend and colleague, Jane Hudson-Evans, who is taking part for the first time. If you would like to support them you will be very welcome, just double click on the donate button below. Than you very much indeed for your support.

March 2008

  • Better quality scans of the press reviews and pictures from Winifred's days as an actress. (You can now read them!). Click here.

  • Better quality scans of the remaining 'Cintra' documents have now been added to the appropriate page, you can also enlarge them and view in Adobe.pdf format. Click here.

  • New photographs of the Opio graves taken in February 2008, by regular visitor Rhona Wells, have been added to the site.

  • Lady Fortescue's original garden at The Domaine, near Grasse, (now Villa Fort France), will be open to the public a number of times in 2008. If you are in the area it is an opportunity not to be missed. For times and dates click here. The garden has recently been awarded the label 'Jardin Remarquable'. To read more about this, in French, click on the logo below. I will add a translation shortly.

Lady Fortescue's original garden at the Villa Fort France has been awarded the label 'jardin remarquable'

  • I apologise for the delay in updates to the site during early 2008, this has been brought about by health problems. However, I have not been idle! A number of the sites original photo's have been replaced with better quality images, continuing the programme started last year. If you look carefully you will see there is now a small photo of 'L.O.' or Little Orchard, the cottage occupied by Winifred & John in Hertfordshire after leaving London but before moving to France. There are some new pages planned for 2008, hopefully some spare books for sale and the possibility of a book of photographs, taken from the originals used on the web site.

  • Winter is almost over in the south and the carnival season is in full swing in Nice & Menton. The Mimosa is in bloom and the sun is getting warmer each day, although you can still pop up to the Alpes-Maritime and ski at places like Auron, having enjoyed the morning down at the sea! I hope to be enjoying the sea half very soon!

  Nice at Night

February 2008

  • 'Escape to Provence' by Maureen Emerson. This exciting new publication, the culmination of approximately 7 years work by Maureen, is now entering its final stages with the designers, printers and indexers. The book should be available in Summer of this year and
    Jill Shepperd of the English Book Centre in Valbonne has kindly arranged a book signing (with a short introductory talk) for Saturday, 14 June 2008. If you find yourself in the area at that time you will be very welcome to attend. I hope to be able to add an order form to the website in due course to enable visitors  to obtain a copy. More information when available.

Escape to Provence by Maureen Emerson, published July 2008

January 2008

  • In December 2007 a new book titled The Good Straight Englishwoman, written by Amanda Davies was published.  In the 1920s and 30s
    Clare Hedley-Peek ran the highly successful ‘Sunshine Clinic’ for children with bone disease – she and her partner Winifred Morris were part of the ex-pat community which included Lady Fortescue and Elisabeth Starr living on the Opio hillside renamed by the locals as ‘La Colline des Anglaises’. Click here for more information.

The Good Straight Englishwoman by Amanda Davies

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