Notes on TELLING TALES a Biography of Anita Leslie by Marian Keys sent to relation of Nora Hickey – April 2020
Anita Leslie?s biography is gone in the post to you Friday evening, you should have it Monday or Tuesday.
She was a very interesting woman from a strange cross-section of life; Irish big house, cousin of Churchill and some of the family friendly with Hitler.
Anita obviously wrote quite a bit and travelled extensively. The Leslie family home was in Castle Leslie, Glaslough, County Monaghan, right on the border with Northern Ireland Ireland. Her niece now runs the big house as an exclusive hotel. Paul McCartney, the Beetle had his last wedding there. They have a Royal Suite called after Marguerite, Queen of Sweden (a cousin of yours!)
Nora and I called in there recently on our way to Donegal: it is now very well kept, I think they received EU. money for developing industry in Border Regions.
The family were often in the news. Samantha Leslie, the woman who runs the Castle now Is a niece of Anita. Her sister Camielle [or the two of them] were friendly with Fr. Cleary?s son Ross. (maybe also a cousin of yours!).
Anita’s father was Sir Shane Leslie. Winston Churchill?s mother and Shane’s mother were two of the Jerome sisters, daughters of a famous, wealthy New York stockbroker family.
They were always a bit different. I see on Google that Anita?s brother Desmond, who lived in Glasslock, retired and lived in Antibes in the South of France. Nora and I remember his son, coming down to the pub in Juan Les Pins on a bicycle to buy fish and chips next door and have a pint in the pub.
My mother taught in Derry (Londonderry Girls High School) in the 1960s and with another teacher would drive up and down every second weekend. She liked to do something to break the journey each trip so she wrote to Sir Shane Leslie in Glaslough asking to do an interview with hIm. He had been through the first world war and Churchill used to stay with him in his rooms in Trinity College, Dublin during his holidays. He wrote back saying that he did not give interviews to the press. She wrote back, presumably, using her Skryne Castle address, saying that she was not press but would like the interview for local history and for students.
He gave her the interview and she called one Friday afternoon with her old fashion tape-recorder and they had tea and got on well.
She later gave the large old-fashioned tape reel to the County Monaghan Library (without keeping a copy)
So that?s the Leslies, I hope you enjoy it.
Looking forward to afternoon tea with you at the Negresco Hotel in Nice later in the year.