This beguiling tale of a scandalous ménage à trois among England’s upper classes is a high society love story that combines memoir and biography into a fascinating, heady read in the vein of The Bolter and Portrait of a Marriage.
Among the glittering stars of British society, Sofka Zinovieff’s grandparents lived and loved with abandon. Robert Heber-Percy was a dashing young man who would rather have a drink than open a book, so his involvement with Jennifer Fry, a beautiful socialite famous for her style and charm, was not surprising. But by the time Robert met and married Jennifer, he had already been involved with a man—Gerald, Lord Berners—for more than a decade.
Stout, eccentric, and significantly older, Gerald was a well-known composer, and at home among scholars. He also owned one of Britain’s loveliest stately homes, Faringdon House in Oxfordshire. The two made an unlikely couple, especially because they lived together at Faringdon House when homosexuality was illegal. And then a pregnant Jennifer moved into Faringdon in 1942, creating a formidable ménage à trois.
In this gorgeous, entertaining narrative of bohemian aristocracy illustrated with dozens of photographs, Sofka Zinovieff probes the mysteries of her grandparents and the third man in their marriage. Who was Gerald, and what brought Robert and Jennifer together under his roof? Why did Jennifer marry Robert? Piecing together the complicated reality behind the scandals of revelry and sexuality, she finally allows old ghosts to rest