The Papers of Lady Diana Cooper, Viscountess Norwich
Scope and Contents
- 1900 - 1986
- Cooper, Diana Olivia Winifred Maud, Lady, 1892 - 1986 (née Manners, wife of 1st Viscount Norwich) (Person)
Conditions Governing Access
Conditions Governing Use
Biographical / Historical
In June 1919, despite opposition from her family, who had hoped for a loftier match, she married Alfred Duff Cooper [later 1st Lord Norwich], one of the few male members of the Coterie to have survived the war. The marriage was to be a long and happy one, despite Duff's frequent infidelities, and the couple had a son, John Julius, in 1929. In 1923, Lady Diana embarked on a limited, but lucrative, theatrical career, starring as the Madonna in Max Reinhardt's play "The Miracle". She was to tour with "The Miracle" off and on for the next 12 years, in Britain, Europe and the United States, and the money from this enabled Duff to leave his job at the Foreign Office and embark on a political career.
As Duff rose through the political ranks, Lady Diana went with him, adding glamour to his election campaigns and accompanying him on his various postings, including long voyages aboard the Admiralty yacht Enchantress in 1938-39, when Duff was First Lord of the Admiralty, his lecture tour of the United States on the outbreak of the Second World War, his stint in Singapore as Resident Cabinet Minister with responsibility for Far Eastern affairs in 1941, and his posting to Algiers in 1943-44 as the British representative to the French Committee of National Liberation. Most famously, she ran the British Embassy in Paris when Duff became Ambassador to France in 1944, queen of a brilliant group of actors, artists and writers, called "La Bande", not unlike "the Coterie" of 30 years before.
The Coopers did not leave Paris when Duff's term as Ambassador ended in 1948, but simply moved to Chantilly (which cannot have made life easy for their successors). Duff died in 1954; Lady Diana was heartbroken, but felt that in a way it was almost a relief - always a hypochondriac, she had worried for years about Duff's health, and what would happen when he died. She busied herself with writing her autobiography from 1958 to 1960, in three volumes, ''The Rainbow Comes and Goes,'' ''The Light of Common Day'' and ''Trumpets From the Steep'', and remained a much-loved friend and figure in society until her death on 16 June 1986.
44 archive box(es)
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Immediate Source of Acquisition
- 2013-05-15 10:44:42.867000+00:00
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