Last night we were delighted to celebrate the publication of Sonia Melchett’s sublime memoir From the Ganges to the Thames in glamorous company befitting her legacy as one of London’s greatest society hostesses. The launch took place at Daunt Books in Holland Park amid an excited atmosphere and was capped by some well-chosen words from our chairman and Sonia herself. Her memoir tells of her adventurous life, her family and her extensive travels across the globe; from Syria to Burma and beyond.
Sonia Sinclair was born in Nainital in India to a tiger-shooting Army doctor in the Royal Army Medical Corps. She attended the Royal School at Bath, and was evacuated to Longleat during the War. After leaving school, she worked for the BBC and in the Control Commission in Germany before marrying the dashing Julian Mond, later Lord Melchett, by whom she had a son and two daughters. This eventful marriage took her from life in a control tower in Norfolk to riches and acclaim as a leading light in high society. Following her first husband’s death in 1973 she worked as a magistrate and was on the board of the NSPCC, the Royal Court Theatre and the National Theatre. Her second husband is Andrew Sinclair, the much respected historian, writer and film-maker.
In writing From the Ganges to the Thames, Sonia Melchett recounts her extraordinary life story with a wit and charm that has come to be expected from an acclaimed author and a legendary society hostess. This record of her personal history, containing pictures taken from diaries and family albums, documents her life as a child of Empire living through the Second World War. It follows her dramatic journey from obscurity to the considerable glamour of her later years.