Anne de Courcy

There was no fairy tale ending for the lovely Gladys Deacon

Everyone who was anyone fell for the future Duchess of Marlborough — yet she died a lonely recluse, forgotten by all except Hugo Vickers

The story of how Hugo Vickers eventually tracked down the former Gladys Deacon, Duchess of Marlborough is almost as fascinating as how Gladys nailed her duke. Both were obsessions that began young, that of the 16-year-old Vickers when he read of ‘The love of Proust, the belle amie of Anatole France’, and was so taken that he wrote his first biography of her 40 years ago, and that of Gladys when at 14 she wrote (of the Duke) ‘O dear if only I was a little older I might “catch” him yet’.

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