The Wendells were a long standing Portsmouth family in Maine and New England, USA. Catherine's
family and collaterals had homes in Kittery and Portsmouth as well as Frostfields, a mansion on New Castle Common.
Catherine spent her childhood holidays at Kittery, but she lived mostly in New York with her parents
and older brothers, Jac and Reggie and a little sister Philippa.
Tragedy struck in 1911 when Catherine was only 11 when her father, Jacob, died, and her mother Marian
Fendall Wendell - a member of the Tredick family ( also of Portsmouth, New Hampshire ) was forced to abandon her
American roots and move with her four young children to England to be near a beloved Tredick cousin, Gertrude
Griffiths, who had married a wealthy man.
Marian Wendell was a big, couragous, but pushy character - indeed she was very
much like Marie Boyer, the grasping, conniving mother of Almina, 5th Countess of Carnarvon, the subject of William Cross's
best selling book " The Life and Secrets of Almina Carnarvon."
Through Marian Wendell's determination, spark and wheeling and dealing
her two daughters Catherine and Philippa both married British Earls. In 1922 Catherine became Lady Porchester,
and in 1923 the 6th Countess of Carnarvon. In 1924, Philippa became the 12th Countess of Galloway.
The new book will also cover the later marriage of Porchey Carnarvon ( 6th Earl
of Carnarvon ) to the dancer and screen star, Tilly Losch.