11 x 15
In 1858 the entire landmass of India came under the direct control of the British Crown. To reflect the status and role of the Governor-General as a representative of the monarch to the feudal rulers of the princely states, the term Viceroy was applied, and his consort was accordingly elevated to Vicereine. Penny Beaumont illustrates the lives of these remarkable women from the first, Charlotte Canning, through to the ultimate Vicereine, Edwina Mountbatten. Among the most alluring of all these 'Imperial Divas' was the figure of Chicago-born Mary Leitner, wife and consort to the most dazzling of all the Viceroys, Lord Curzon. This is the biographical history of the invisible Empresses, told with charm and humour, illuminating the most powerful position accessible to women in the age of Empire.