Last week I wrote my first book review in a very long time. I reviewed Young Elizabeth by Kate Williams and mentioned that I’ve been reading a lot of history books recently. I love reading about women from the past, how they lived their lives and how society treated them differently to how we do today.

The Viceroy's Daughters Book ReviewOne of the books I read recently was The Viceroy’s Daughters by Anne De Courcy. The book tells the life stories of the three daughters of Lord Curzon, who is best known as being the Viceroy of India. The book mainly focusses on the events of the 20s, 30s and 40s. The sisters were key players in the London social scene and are absolutely fascinating to read about.

The viceroys dughters Back of BookHaving read quite a few books on the Mitfords it was nice to visit a new family and learn all about a new set of sisters. I am really interested in reading about the upper classes in the early 20th century. It was a time of great political turmoil and like the Mitford sisters, politics plays a large part in the lives of the Curzon sisters, especially Cimmie who was even an MP at one point.

The Viceroys Daughters Book ReviewCimmie, Irene and Baba are all really interesting women. Cynthia Curzon (Cimmie) was married to Oswald Mosely the leader of The British Union of Facsists, before her death and his later marriage to Diana Mitford. It is so interesting to see how the politics of many British aristocrats became so extreme and how many admired and related to Germany, Hitler and the Third Reich. Also reading about Diana Mosely (Mitford) from a different point of view was a huge highlight of the book.

Book Review The Viceroy's DaughtersThe book starts by going into detail about the life of their father and you do have to wait a while before you read much about the sisters. Their fathers personal and political life is also a very interesting read. He held many positions of power and was also nearly became Prime Minister. His relationships after his wife’s death are complex with both his mistress, second wife and his daughters.

The Viceroys Daughters by Anne De CourcyThe book follows the daughters and the key people in their lives through many personal and social changes and for anyone with an interest in the early 20th century, it really is a fascinating read. The book also goes into huge detail on the lives of Edward VIII and Wallace Simpson, who were good friends with Baba’s husband. The events surrounding the abdication and their marriage were such a huge part of British history and seeing them in this intimate light is completely engrossing.

The Viceroy's Daughters The Curzon SistersThe book is beautifully written and extremely well researched. The author delves into personal letters and diaries, many of which are quoted heavily throughout the book. Having not known anything about the sisters before picking up the book, I felt like I knew them personally by the time I had finished.

The Viceroys Daughters SpineIf you love social history and enjoy reading about the lives of women in the past, then you will almost definitely enjoy this book. I feel like I learned a lot from it and it painted such a clear picture of the era, that it was like stepping back in time. I am currently reading another book by Anne De Courcy, which I will be reviewing as soon as I’ve finished it.

The Viceroys Daughter The Lives of the Curzon SistersBuy the book on Amazon.

As usual, keep your book recommendations coming. I’ve had so many since my last review, that my wish-list is getting very long on Amazon.

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I’ve always had an interest in royal history, looking back on our monarchy gives us a wonderful snap shot of the past. It is a great starting point for looking at how England has changed and the people who have shaped it and influenced it, right up to present day. I have read a huge amount about the Georgian era, as it has always been a time that I find fascinating. I have however never read any books on our current Queen, so Kate Williams’ book on Elizabeth’s early life seemed like a great place to start.

Young Elizabeth by Kate Williams ReviewA few years ago I read Kate Williams’ book on the early life of Queen Victoria, which is one of my favourite books ever. I learned so much from it and as a result of reading it and being absolutely fascinated, I went on to visit so many interesting places and read a lot more books to find out more.

Young Elizabeth by Kate WilliamsRecently when I found myself stuck for something to read I picked up Young Elizabeth. It was a great choice, especially because I’ve been reading a lot about the 20s and 30s lately and as this period and it’s events feature heavily in the book, it really helped to set the scene for me.

Young Elizabeth Book ReviewElizabeth’s childhood is interesting because until her uncles abdication her father and she herself had never been expected to reign, making the build up to her becoming queen all the more intriguing to read about.

Young Elizabeth BookThe book covers her family background, her childhood and early adulthood, right up to the point where she becomes Queen. It makes for very interesting reading and there was so much I didn’t know. The fact that the book covers a relatively short period of time in historical terms, means that the writer can really go into depth when discussing Elizabeth’s early life. The details are so interesting and I found myself every bit as engaged as when I read about Victoria a few years earlier.

Young Elizabeth Kate Williams Book ReviewWilliams’ writing style is fantastic, I found myself totally absorbed in every page. The historical facts flow off the page and are as easy to read as a novel, I really couldn’t put it down and got this one finished in record time.

As well as the obvious fascination with learning more about the life of a living monarch, the book works it’s way through the significant events that shaped the first half of the twentieth century. Through four monarchs and two world wars and tempestuous social changes, this is such an interesting era to read about.

Young Elizabeth by kate Williams Book ReviewAs usual I won’t discuss the content of the book too much as I want people to go and read it and discover everything for themselves, but I would absolutely recommend this book to anyone with an interest in both social and royal history, or if you just want to know what the queen was like before she was the old lady that I’ve associated with the monarchy my entire lifetime.

Buy the book on Amazon here.

I hope you enjoyed todays book review. I’ve been reading loads lately and I’m hoping to make reviews a regular thing, just like I used to when I first started blogging a few years ago. Let me know if you have any book recommendations.

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It’s been a while since I shared a favourites post on here. When I’m reading other people’s blogs I always love to read them, so I thought it was high time I shared the things I’ve been enjoying this month. From beauty products, to books and vintage treasure these are my favourite products from March.

Beauty: I have a few beauty favourites that I’ve been using everyday this months. A few new ones and a couple of trusty favourites…

Liz Earle Cleanse and PolishMy all time favourite skin saviour, is one I use every single month. Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish is my absolute favourite skincare product of all time. Whenever I run out my skin seems to suffer. This gentle hot cloth cleanser is packed with essential oils and lovely ingredients and not only does it remove all traces of make-up, but it also leaves my skin looking and feeling fabulous. I wrote a proper review of it last year and you can read it here.

Miller Harris Poirier d'un SoirMy go-to perfume at the moment would have to be Poirier d’un Soir by Miller Harris. This luxury perfume has a gorgeous powdery old-fashioned scent, which I’m totally addicted to. I like musky traditional scents and this one is absolutely divine. The perfume lasts all day and people keep asking me what I’m wearing. It is a little on the pricey side, but for something you wear every day I always think perfume is worth investing a little extra in for a great product. I’d really like to try more from Miller Harris as I was so impressed with this one.

L'Occitane Hand CreamMy hands really haven’t enjoyed the cold weather or all the hand washing vintage clothes, which I seem to spend all my time doing. I love a good hand cream and L’Occitane is one of my favourite brands. I picked up these two lovely handcreams while I was on holiday in Bruges recently and I’ve been using them non stop ever since. I chose the lavender as it’s such a classic and the grapefruit and rhubarb because I love the sweet fresh scent. My hands have really benefitted from using them and I’m hoping to buy some more scents soon.

Benefit Roller Lash
Make-up wise I’ve been really enjoying several eye products this month. Although I usually hate felt-tip eyeliners, the Eyeko Fat liquid liner is definitely an exception. This one is perfect for creating perfect vintage winged liner. I usually combine it with a normal liquid liner, I use this on the outer eye and to create the flick and a normal liner for the more delicate inner eye. I love how dark the product comes out and how easy it is to create a precision cat eye.

My favourite mascara over the last few months has been Benefit’s Roller Lash. I’ve always used Benefit mascaras anyway and to me this is their best yet. It has an easy to use plastic wand and adds loads of length and volume to lashes. I love how much it separates my lashes and I haven’t found another product that compares to it for a while.

My last make-up product is one that came in my most recent Birchbox. The ModelCo brow More Brows, is a great product for create well-defined and shaped brows. I’ve used it everyday since I received it and absolutely love it. See more about this one in my most recent Birchbox review.

Magnitone Pastel Blue
I’ve been using a Magnitone Cleansing Brush for absolutely ages now and I recently picked  up a new one in a lovely pastel blue colour. This cleansing brush helps your cleanser to really clean your skin and gently exfoliates. I absolutely love how much my skin glows after using it. I wrote a full review of the magnitude brush a while ago, which you can see here.

Rituals Sakura Scrub
My last beauty product for this month is a selection of products I picked up at Rituals. I’m a huge fan of sugar scrubs and have tried so many! I’d had my eye on this one for ages and kept seeing it in the shop and wanting it. While I was in Bruges I thought I’d treat myself to some new products to enjoy while I was there, so I picked up my long coveted sugar scrub along with a body cream and foaming shower oil. As well as making my skin feel wonderful, these also smell absolutely divine. The scent from the body cream lasts for hours and I’ve really enjoyed using all the products as a set.

Books: I’ve got through so many books so far this year. I finished re-reading all the Harry Potter books, re-read the His Dark Materials trilogy and have indulged in lots of lovely feel good chick-lit books.

Wickham Hall by Cathy Bramley
My favourite book that I’ve read this month would have to be Wickham Hall by Cathy Bramley. I’ve read her other two books this month as well and I absolutely love them. this one is set in a stately home and has a lovely easy-going plot. It’s the kind of book I read when I want a little light-hearted escape and I can’t wait for her to write more books!

Fashion: I’ve been pretty good this month and not spent much on clothes. At the moment I’m on the lookout for some more accessories to go with my vintage outfits.

Vintage Jewellery
I have recently  developed a bit of an addiction to vintage jewellery and I love that you can still buy so many pretty things at absolutely bargain prices. My collection has certainly grown recently. I did a little vintage jewellery haul on the blog a few weeks ago and as I’ve picked up a few more bits since so I’m planning to do another one soon.

Vintage Enid Collins Bag
As you may have seen in a few of my outfit posts, I’ve got a bit of a thing for vintage Enid Collins bags. They were originally made in Texas in the 1960s and I love how bright and cheerful the colourful beaded designs are. My collection has really grown over the last year and I now have a total of 10! I must write a post about them all soon.

Hotter Michelle Heels
My favourite shoes this month are these gorgeous pink ones from Hotter. I think the colour is beautiful and the leather is lovely and soft. As with all Hotter shoes these are extremely comfortable and easy to wear and I can see myself wearing them a lot at vintage events this summer. The Sandy shoes also come in a gorgeous mustard colour, which I would have bought if I didn’t already own some mustard shoes. I really hope they bring these out in more colours soon.

What have you been enjoying this month? What are your favourites for March?

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With the ever-growing popularity of wearing vintage and the vintage scene in general, there has never been a better time for a really good quality vintage magazine. Last year saw the launch of the hugely popular In Retrospect Magazine. The quarterly magazine describes itself as ‘a modern magazine for old-fashioned people’ which is a very accurate description.

In Retrospect MagazineSo far I’ve read the first four issues which are packed with a wide variety of pieces from some really fantastic contributors, bringing their knowledge from all corners of the vintage world. Variety is what makes the magazine such a great read. The audience is both male and female and it’s great to see the male element of vintage which is all too often forgotten when we talk about vintage fashion and lifestyle.

In Retrospect Vintage MagazineOver 120 or so pages of quality text and beautiful photography you can find not only fashion, but book reviews, lifestyle posts, the latest vintage events and discussion. The magazine is a wealth of information to immerse yourself in. Whether vintage is an occasional fashion choice, a hobby or your full lifestyle you’ll find something in its pages to enjoy.

In Retrospect Contents PageWhat makes me enjoy it especially, is that so many of my favourite bloggers write for the magazine. It’s like an anthology of my favourite blogs in one place and as well as really enjoying leafing through the pages I’ve definitely gained so much knowledge of the past from its interesting features.

In Retrospect Collecting CelluloidOne of my favourite parts of the magazine are the useful guides to collecting vintage pieces, I was fascinated by a guide to vintage celluloid in the first issue by vintage jewellery expert Natalie Leon.

In Retrospect Are the 90s Vintage

In Retrospect Make Do and AccessorizeAdvertising is kept to a minimum with a few relevant adverts for vintage related companies scattered throughout. The bulk of the magazine is really good quality writing and for the £4.50 that each issue costs, you definitely get your moneys worth in content.

In Retrospect Trench cake

In retrospect the Tweed RunThe magazine is written by vintage lovers, for vintage lovers and I really recommend it. You can buy back issues from the In Retrospect website and also subscribe to future issues.

Find out more on the In Retrospect website.

2015 was a pretty good year for me. My friends and family are all healthy and happy, I’ve made some amazing friends through my love of vintage and the blog has come a long way. I even won a blog award this year which was absolutely amazing. Big things aside I’ve had lots of small things which have made me happy this year and one of those things will always be settling down with a good book.

Between reading from the page and listening to audio books while doing other things, I’ve got through a big stack of books this year and I thought I’d quickly share my list with you. Theres been a great mixture of chick-lit, vintage themed books and a few older classics. I’ve recently been re-reading the Harry Potter series, which will always be a favourite of mine.

Here’s every book I’ve read in the last year…

2015 Reading 1
My most recent books include some Jenny Colgan and Lisa Jewell which I read absolutely years ago and have recently been re-reading them. I also got really into the Game Of Thrones books having watched all the series recently. I definitely broke up the heavy going GOT books with some lighter reads in between.

2015 Reading 2
This year I also read a few of the new additions to the Style Me Vintage series, I especially liked the book on accessories, which gave me loads of shopping inspiration!I also discovered the Lucia series which are absolutely hilarious and made me consider restarting the vintage book group at some point.

2015 reading 3
I read absolutely loads of the Daisy Dalrymple mysteries this year too. If you’re a fan of Agatha Christie you’ll love these. Another of my favourite books of the year was the Fashion on The Ration book which accompanied the exhibition at The Imperial War Museum. The book offered so much insight into clothing during the 1940s. You can see my review here.

I’m definitely considering starting a vintage themed book club up again this year. Would anyone be interested?

I’ve had so much fun reading last year and I can’t wait to read more amazing books this year, do you have any recommendations?

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