“The Decorative and Disastrous life of Marie Antoinette”: The glittering road to the Guillotine.

I wanted to write about somebody who had everything and lost everything and I wanted to see how this affected them. That is why I chose Marie Antoinette although she lost her crown and her head she kept her majesty.

My father owned the swastika laundry in Dublin founded in 1912. We lived on Aylesbury road and I was educated at St. Michael school in Gloucester – a tiny Anglican convent.

I became a secretary to umpteen people who sacked me, then finally I went to someone who had already sacked 3 people and said she couldn’t sack another, so I stayed there. That was a fashion service bureau in Bond Street London. From there I was head hunted by Vogue as fashion forecaster.

I remained with Vogue as interior editor for 19 years.

During my time with Vogue I took a sabbatical to write an encyclopaedia of needle work, I also wrote a book on “Living in Vogue”.

When I returned to my beloved Ireland, I decided I wanted to write about somebody who had had everything and lost everything. Marie Antoinette filled that role perfectly.