The Fabulous Frances Farquharson: An American in The Highlands

Born in 1902 in Seattle, Washington, Frances Lovell Oldham left her hometown in her early twenties to pursue a journalism career in Europe. At a time when women rarely found independent success, Frances transcended boundaries as a working woman in London, becoming fashion editor first at British Vogue then later at Harper’s Bazaar, when the magazines were expressively modernist in their design and output.


Her story is even more remarkable given she made a career comeback after fracturing her spine during a house fire that killed her first husband in 1933. At Harper’s Bazaar, she would raise the morale of British women during the Second World War, and embarked on a fearlesss trade mission to the United States to boost British exports. After marrying Captain Alwyne Farquharson, the 16th Laird of Invercauld, in 1949, Frances threw herself into life as the queen’s neighbour at Balmoral and brought glamour and eccentricity to the grouse moors of Deeside.

Drawing on interviews with Frances’ daughter and friends, and staff who once worked with her, as well as archival material and extracts from her own unpublished memoirs, The Fabulous Frances Farquharson offers a glimpse into the life of a remarkable woman and will not fail to fascinate and enthrall.


Caroline Young

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