Simon Blow

My family’s better days

Claudia Renton's Those Wild Wyndhams captures the riches and rage of the famous high-society sisters — Mary, Madeline and my great-grandmother Pamela

The Wyndham Sisters, 1899, by John Singer Sargent. Left to right: Madeline, Pamela and Mary [Getty Images/Shutterstock/iStock/Alamy]

The Sargent painting reproduced opposite suggests the wealth and comfort that these three sisters, Mary, Madeline and Pamela, were born to. Their father, Percy Wyndham, was the younger son of Lord Leconfield of Petworth, Sussex. He was his father’s favourite, and was left by him as much of the immense Wyndham riches as was possible.

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