I just finished Last Curtsey: The End of the Debutantes by Fiona MacCarthy. It is about the women who made their debut in 1958. This was the last year that debs were presented to the Queen. Fiona MacCarthy was herself a debutante in that year and gives a full rundown on how preparations were made for the season, the season and life afterwards. She outlines how difficult many titled families were finding it to meet all the expenses associated with the season in the post war era. Many had houses that were falling apart and were being taxed to the hilt by death duties. It was extremely well written and interesting.
Second, and such a fun read To the Manor Born by Peter Spence. This is laugh out loud stuff. My favourite part was when Audrey pretends to go on holiday. She drives out in her Royles and then has her Butler drive her back home concealed in the boot. She proceeds to spend the following week "holidaying" hidden in her cottage and using a ray lamp to get the tan she is supposedly getting in Greece. From the cover
"Audrey fforbes-Hamilton enjoys all the little luxuries that a woman of her position and ancestry might expect - a manor in the country, a modest staff, the awed respect of the local village and, of course, a few shillings in the bank. But with the death of her husband all that changes.
As Audrey moves to the coach-house with Brabinger; her loyal but decrepit butler; she has to face the horros of the real world - supermarkets, launderettes, buses, possibly even a job. But worse is to follow when the new Lord of the Manor arrives. Now Audrey prepares to do battle on behalf of her reputation, class and the hallowed name of fforbes-Hamilton".