The Duchess of Devonshire’s Ball
Murphy, Sophia. The Duchess of Devonshire’s Ball. First Edition. 1984. Book and dust jacket are both in very good condition. Foreword by the Duchess of Devonshire.
Merriment is ephemeral, and a good party withers when described. Perhaps that is why there are so few books devoted to the subject. However, this book is an exception. The setting was Devonshire House, one of London’s grandest private residences (since demolished). The occasion was the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Victoria, and the guests were the United Kingdom’s noble families, adorned in lavish costumes from historical courts (Russian, Egyptian, Roman, English, Italian, French, etc.) All sat for formal portraits, which were preserved and reproduced here. The author is the daughter of the Eleventh Duke of Devonshire (and a Mitford granddaughter).