Nancy Astor

Feb 2011
13,540
Perambulating in St James' Park
#1
I was driving from London to Rochester and listening to Book of the Week on Radio 4, the book was a biography about Lady Astor/Nancy Astor. I'm interested to know how an American lady born in the United States could become a Member of Parliament and the first woman MP too, don't you have to be a British subject to be an MP?

Nancy Astor, Viscountess Astor - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

She was born around the time of the US Civil War I think and appears to have had an interesting life.



Rather a pretty thing too I daresay.

Radio programme here:
BBC Radio 4 - Book of the Week, Nancy: The Story of Lady Astor, Episode 1




Episode 1

Book of the Week, Nancy: The Story of Lady Astor Episode 1 of 5


Duration: 15 minutes
First broadcast:Monday 15 October 2012Written by Adrian Fort.
The first of five extracts from a new biography of Nancy Astor, the first woman to take a seat in the British Parliament. Born in 1879, hers was a fascinating life: from straitened beginnings in the Civil War-ravaged Deep South of America, to marriage into one of the world's richest families, to a straight-talking campaign conducted door-to-door in one of the most deprived areas of Plymouth which brought her a political career that lasted more than two decades (from 1919 - until 1945).

Far from being a hardened campaigner who had suffered for the cause of female suffrage, she was already near the centre of ruling society, having married one of the richest men in the world. She was not even British, yet she became a trailblazer and beacon for the generations of women who would follow her into Parliament.
Reader: Anna Maxwell Martin.

Beautiful narrative too, Anna Maxwell Martin has a cultured accent.

The programme is probably available on Radio Downloader if you can't get it from BBC.

Radio Downloader
 

Davidius

Ad Honorem
Dec 2010
4,956
Pillium
#2
Book of the week on R4 is a goldmine for historians, last week it was about the history of cartography. You get quite a few biographies too.:cool:
 

Louise C

Ad Honorem
Jan 2011
7,239
Southeast England
#4
I assume that being married to a British citizen was good enough.

I recently read The Lady's Maid, My Life in Service by Rosina Harrison, which is very interesting. Rosina Harrison was Lady Astor's lady's maid for over 30 years and so got to know her quite well.
 

Belgarion

Ad Honorem
Jul 2011
6,624
Australia
#7
Wasn't this the woman who said to Churchill in Parliament "Winston, you're drunk!" to which Churchill replied "And you're ugly, but in the morning I'll be sober."
 

Louise C

Ad Honorem
Jan 2011
7,239
Southeast England
#8
Wasn't this the woman who said to Churchill in Parliament "Winston, you're drunk!" to which Churchill replied "And you're ugly, but in the morning I'll be sober."
Yes, they were frequently at loggerheads. Nancy Astor was a fanatical opponent of alcahol, which naturally woukdn't go down well with Winston.
 
Feb 2011
9,998
Cumbernauld Scotland
#9
Yes, they were frequently at loggerheads. Nancy Astor was a fanatical opponent of alcahol, which naturally woukdn't go down well with Winston.
I think that was one the things I liked about Winston Churchill he liked a drink and he enjoyed good health and lived to a long age. Otherwise when to some of his ideas he was better off with the victory of the second world war. Nancy Astor may had an alcoholic first husband, but there was no need to judge every alcoholic by the same cover. I had been married to an abusive alcoholic and left him as he never sobered up enough for me to stick around. I live with my man who enjoys a drink and has never behaved in abusive way. The only thing he does is talks a lot of rubbish when he has a drink.:D
 
Feb 2011
13,540
Perambulating in St James' Park
#10

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