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Winifred Fortescue was born in Suffolk in 1888. At the age of 17 she decided to help the family's ailing resources by taking a career on the stage, and starred in a number of productions. In 1914 she married John Fortescue, the King's Librarian and Archivist, and in spite of a huge age difference theirs was an exceptionally happy marriage. The couple lost nearly all their money in the stockmarket crash of 1929. Selling what little they had left, they bought a tumbledown cottage high on a mountain outside Grasse in Provence, ...

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