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Princess Grace Irish Library Monaco presents Eliza Pakenham

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Par PGIL Rédigé le 29/10/2010 (dernière modification le 29/10/2010)

An Illustrated Talk in English by

Tuesday 7 December 2010 at 20:00

Princess Grace Irish Library Monaco presents Eliza Pakenham
In her book "TOM, NED & KITTY: An Intimate Portrait of an Irish Family", Eliza Pakenham has written an absorbing tale of the exploits and preoccupations of her aristocratic ancestors at the time of the Napoleonic Wars. Using an exceptional unpublished archive that still resides at Tullynally Castle in Westmeath, the voices of one generation are brought alive through letters, diaries and secret account books. Scandals, love affairs, glory and humiliation abound. With its account of domestic manners reminiscent of a Jane Austen novel, it also features the dashing heroes of a Patrick O’Brien, and the romance of a Georgette Heyer.

Thomas, Earl of Longford, fought the United Irishmen in the 1798 Rebellion as a brash playboy of 24. An extravagant builder, he turned his home from a solid Georgian box to a romantic gothic castle. But this respectable aristocrat was also sowing his wild oats all too freely before his eventual marriage — his natural children were a lifelong secret that only appear in the codicils to his will.

Ned, the darling of the family, won glory fighting Napoleon as General Sir Edward Pakenham. Handsome, charming and hot-blooded, he was a born hero. Yet when he tried to marry Byron’s future wife he was turned down with the excuse that the Pakenhams had a “strong tendency to insanity”. He was killed leading a forlorn hope against future American President Andrew Jackson in the disastrous Battle of New Orleans.

Kitty, 1st Duchess of Wellington, was an elder sister. Her family initially thought Arthur Wellesley too poor to marry her; she waited in secret hope for 12 years. But the eventual marriage to the Iron Duke proved a tragic mistake. He was unfaithful, proud, often cruel and highly critical of her. Her appealing letters to her family describe a doomed love for a great national icon.

Eliza Pakenham is the latest of successive generations of literary Pakenhams. She is the daughter of tree expert and historian Thomas Pakenham and granddaughter of biographers Elizabeth and Frank Longford. Her aunts are Antonia Fraser and Rachel Billington, one of her great uncles was playwright Edward Longford of the Gate Theatre in Dublin, and another was the novelist Anthony Powell. Eliza lives both in Dublin and at Tullynally with her three sons and husband.

BOOKSIGNING after the lecture... “Tom, Ned & Kitty - An Intimate Portrait of an Irish Family” will be on sale for 10 EUR (paperback). Cash only. You may reserve your copy in advance.
Eliza’s books can also be purchased on www.amazon.co.uk and www.amazon.fr. She will be delighted to sign any you bring with you to the lecture.

Entry 10 Euro per person payable at the door.
Reservations essential due to the limited number of seats.
The street doors will be closed at 20:00 sharp.

Princess Grace Irish Library
9 rue Princesse Marie-de-Lorraine
T 377 93 50 12 25

Under the aegis of Fondation Princesse Grace

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