Tuesday, January 28, 2020

The Dragon Lady by Louisa Treger


306 pages                                                                                                
Genre: Historical Fiction
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Source: The publisher in return for an unbiased review.
First Sentence: I've spent a lifetime trying to forget, yet the smallest thing takes me back to the time the Dragon Lady was shot.
Review Quote: A fascinating fictionalised account of the life of Lady Virginia Courtauld... a spirited account of a flamboyant life. (Antonia Senior The Times)
Main Characters: Lady Virginia Courtauld and Stephen Courtauld 
Setting: UK, Italy and Rhodesia
My OpinionThe author has written with great passion this story of Lady Virginia Courtauld. With a mystery at the centre of the narrative, it opens with the shooting of the protagonist Ginie in Rhodesia where she and her husband moved after being ostracised by British society.

Once I finished reading this delightful novel I looked into the historical background, as I knew very little about the Courtauld family. It is obvious that Louisa Treger did very through research and has produced a very readable novel with her excellent blend of fact and fiction.

Précis Courtesy of Goodreads:

Opening with the shooting of Lady Virginia 'Ginie' Courtauld in her tranquil garden in 1950s Rhodesia, The Dragon Lady tells Ginie's extraordinary story, so called for the exotic tattoo snaking up her leg. From the glamorous Italian Riviera before the Great War to the Art Deco glory of Eltham Palace in the thirties, and from the secluded Scottish Highlands to segregated Rhodesia in the fifties, the narrative spans enormous cultural and social change. Lady Virginia Courtauld was a boundary-breaking, colourful and unconventional person who rejected the submissive role women were expected to play.
Ostracised by society for being a foreign divorcée at the time of Edward VIII and Mrs Simpson, Ginie and her second husband ,Stephen Courtauld, leave the confines of post-war Britain to forge a new life in Rhodesia, only to find that being progressive liberals during segregation proves mortally dangerous. Many people had reason to dislike Ginie, but who had reason enough to pull the trigger?
Deeply evocative of time and place, The Dragon Lady subtly blends fact and fiction to paint the portrait of an extraordinary woman in an era of great social and cultural change.

Author Profile:

Louisa Treger

Born in London, Louisa Treger began her career as a classical violinist. She studied at the Royal College of Music and the Guildhall School of Music, and worked as a freelance orchestral player and teacher.

Louisa subsequently turned to literature, gaining a First Class degree and a PhD in English at University College London, where she focused on early twentieth century women’s writing.

Married with three children, she lives in London.

Photographs and Biographical Information courtesy of the following sites.

Author's Official Website   Goodreads Author Profile  Amazon Author Page