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William Cross, FSA Scot, Writer and Researcher

Catherine Wendell 6th Countess of Carnarvon : New Book

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Catherine Wendell
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“Catherine and Tilly : Porchey Carnarvon’s Two Duped Wives 

Catherine Wendell and Tilly Losch

The Tragic Tales of the Sixth Countesses of Carnarvon” 

 By William Cross, FSA Scot

ISBN 1-905914-25-3   and ISBN 9781905914258


12.00 +  P & P 3.00  UK 10.00 USA/ CANADA/ AUSTRALIA/ NEW ZEALAND

After her father's death in 1911,  ten-year-old Catherine Wendell  was whisked away from her American roots, to live in Britain.

Widowhood  and with it some dire financial difficulties forced Catherine's courageous mother Marian Fendall Wendall to abandon her  New York home for sanctuary in the village of Sandridge in Hertfordshire, England.  It was here in Sandridge that a wealthy cousin, Gertrude Griffiths offered shelter and safety to Marian and her four children. Catherine was Marian's third child, there were two older brothers and a younger sister.  

As a young woman Catherine was fair and beautiful, she attracted many suitors.  In 1922, through the glorious matchmaking skills of Marian and Gertrude, Catherine Wendell became wife of Lord Porchester, heir to the Earldom of Carnarvon.

A flashy Society wedding at St Margaret's Westminster  was followed by Catherine becoming Sixth Countess of Carnarvon in 1923. But the marriage proved a hell-hole for Catherine, her husband  Porchey was a swine and adulterer. He had countless affairs, gambled irresponsibly and treated Catherine badly leaving her physically and mentally abused and scarred.

Catherine fell to pieces, she became a slave to alcohol and lost her spirit and self-respect. In effect she became a social embarrassment.  After a struggle to bring herself back from the brink of near death Catherine's confidante, friend and saviour was Almina, Fifth Countess of Carnarvon,  her most remarkable mother-in-law.

Through Almina's support and help Catherine found an inner strength again, although she had to deal with many other family problems and overcome the loss of a brother and several close friends. 

After Catherine finally divorced the Sixth Earl ( better known as Porchey Carnarvon) she proved to a singularly brave  and thoughful woman, ( despite taking other hits in her life ).

Catherine ultimately found some inner happiness and contentment ( again through Almina's guidance )  and a religious conversion to the Roman Catholic faith.  Catherine  Wendell found the strength to show all those who doubted her ( including her closest family )  that she was a fine woman, a worthy mother and later the good wife of two men who appreciated her love. 

Porchey duped Catherine into marriage, but others were involved in that whole seedy and contrived affair.  

Porchey's handling of his marriage dimmed Catherine's record as Sixth Countess of Carnarvon. It was a brief one, but as the chatelaine of Highclere Castle between 1923 and 1935, Catherine was well liked by staff and demonstrated she was an excellent hostess and contributed greatly to the life of the Estate.

Catherine Wendell, later Sixth Countess of Carnarvon, later Mrs Geoffrey Grenfell, finally Mrs Don Momand died in Switzerland in 1977.       



Please get in touch with the Author Will Cross  for further details about his new book 

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