“A year from now you may wish you had started today.”
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"Mandy was enormously well-read and intelligent, I will always remember discussing with her over dinner subjects as varied as Thomas Cromwell's dissolution of the monasteries and the influence of the artist Stanley Spencer on Lucian Freud. With a different throw of the dice, Mandy might have been head of the Royal Academy or even running the country. She became a dear friend and I will miss her."
Mandy Rice-Davies was a pioneer of sexual liberation for young women, too. She was swinging in the early Sixties years before the Swinging Sixties started. In 1960 she met Christine Keeler. They shared flats together, and set out to have a good time. They liked being taken by men to smart restaurants and glitzy clubs, they liked a giggle, they liked sex and they didn’t think much of strait-laced morality. Mandy in particular didn’t see why men should have all the sexual choices and not women. She laughed at the way that men were admired for having sexual experiences, but women scorned for it.
Prudish old judges and tabloid journalists who liked to cheapen everything pilloried Christine and Mandy as prostitutes, and the rest of it. But they were never anything of the sort, and Mandy was dauntless. When she read An English Affair, my account of the Profumo scandal, there was only one serious point to which she objected. She didn’t want her granddaughter to read historic quotations that called her a call-girl or worse. A generation later, sexually independent young Englishwomen owe more of a debt than they realise to Mandy Rice-Davies for improving attitudes.