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Author photo. As Marchioness of Bath, with her first husband. Uncredited photo from <a href="http://www.thepeerage.com/p2409.htm" rel="nofollow" target="_top">ThePeerage.com</a>

As Marchioness of Bath, with her first husband. Uncredited photo from ThePeerage.com

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Daphne Fielding, née Vivian, was the daughter of George, 4th Lord Vivian, and his wife, Barbara, a former Gaiety Girl. She went to school at Queen's College, London, and Malvern St. James, and became acquainted with the Oxford set that included Evelyn Waugh, Harold Acton, and Brian Howard. With them, she became one of the "Bright Young Things" of post-World War I London society. In 1926, she married in secret Henry Frederick Thynne, Viscount Weymouth, later 6th Marquess of Bath, against the wishes of both families, and had five children. The couple took over management of Longleat, the historic family estate. To supplement her income, Daphne wrote articles for newspapers and magazines. She researched and wrote the first guidebook to Longleat with a family history dating back to the 16th century, and Before the Sunset Fades (1953), about life above and below stairs at the estate. In 1953, after a divorce from her first husband, she married Xan (Alexander) Fielding, a war hero and travel writer 14 years her junior. They lived in Cornwall, Morocco, Portugal and France. She wrote an autobiography Mercury Presides (1954) and its sequel, The Nearest Way Home (1970). She also produced a novel, The Adonis Garden (1961). The Duchess of Jermyn Street (1964), a biography of Rosa Lewis of the Cavendish Hotel, was adapted into a popular television series. She also wrote a joint life of Lady Cunard and her daughter Nancy called Emerald and Nancy (1968), The Rainbow Picnic (1974) about Iris Tree, and The Face on the Sphinx (1978) about Gladys, Duchess of Marlborough. In the late 1970s, after splitting from Fielding, she moved to Arizona to live with old Oxford friend, Ben Kittridge. After his death, she returned to England and lived at the Old Laundry in Badminton.
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