Sisters: Princess Daisy of Pless & Shelagh Duchess of Westminster by Barbara Borkowy tells the story of Mary Theresa Olivia Cornwallis-West and Constance Cornwallis-West, who lived in the late Victorian and Edwardian age. The women, who were known by their nicknames, Daisy and Shelagh respectively, both made brilliant matches, but both were woefully unprepared for the role they were about to play.
Perhaps it is, therefore, no surprise that both their marriages eventually ended in divorce. Daisy, married to the German Hans Heinrich XV von Hochberg, Prince of Pless, found herself on the other side of the First World War, while Shelagh, married to the immensely wealthy Duke of Westminster, remained only in her marriage because of the outbreak of war. Both sisters suffered the loss of a child and they were leading society ladies.
The book was translated from Polish into English which you can tell at some points. There are some small errors that appear to be due to the translation. Otherwise, the book is filled to the brim with footnotes and tracks the sisters’ movements almost on a day-to-day basis. This can get a little repetitive at times as there are only so many parties one can make sound interesting. In addition, the voice of the women themselves seems to be missing at times. Nevertheless, this in-depth look at the sisters gives a great sense of the times they lived in and the social circles they moved in.