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Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Lady Olga Maitland hosts Literary Dinner for my "Sonia Gandhi" biography at the Defence and Security Forum

Lady Olga Maitland, President of the Defence and Security Forum, hosted a wonderful Black Tie literary dinner last night- with a sumptuous three-course meal and candles to a packed room - for what was the very first official outing of my biography of Sonia Gandhi published by Palgrave Macmillan in America on September 13, 2011.

I was in distinguished company because Lady Olga knows everyone- from British cabinet members and prime ministers to foreign heads of state. Previous speakers at the Defence and Security Forum include Sandy Berger, Adviser to President Clinton, HRH Prince Michael of Kent,and author Frederick Forsyth.

She had read a proof copy prior to last night as the book has only just been published and finished copies are only now available. She was so complimentary and enthusiastic I was quite overwhelmed. Lady Olga had placed a wonderful collection of people on our table,and after my 23-minute talk some great, piercing questions were asked- all under Chatham House rules. While her aristocratic ancestors smiled down at us from their large gold -framed portraits on the walls, the conversation flowed and there was clearly a lot of interest.

It is wonderful to see the first responses to the book after a year and a half of hard labour on this challenging project.

The upcoming speakers for the Defence and Security Forum include His Excellency Sir Mark Lyall Grant, KCM UK, who is the British Permanent Representative to the U.N., and General Sir David Richards, GCB, CBE, DSO, British Chief of Defence Staff.

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