Violet Trefusis, née Keppel (1894-1972), English writer and bilingual author, was the daughter of Lt.-Col. The Hon. George Keppel and Alice Frederica Keppel, née Edmonstone Keppel (1869-1947), the royal mistress of H.M. King Edward VII between 1898 and 1910. In 1919, Violet married Denys Trefusis (1890-1929), as arranged by her mother Alice in an effort to eclipse Violet's longstanding relationship with English poet Vita Sackville-West (1892-1962) whom she had met for the first time at the age of ten. Violet continued to see Vita throughout her marriage, achieving renewed fame as Vita's lover. Violet was later awarded the Légion d'Honneur for her participation in the London broadcasts of La France Libre, during the Second World
Violet's sister, Sonia Rosemary Keppel (1900-1986), who in 1920 married Roland Cubitt (1899-1962), 3rd Baron Ashcombe, would later become
grandmother to H.R.H. The Duchess of Cornwall.
La Tour, a medieval towerhouse in Saint Loup de Naud, France, was
offered to Violet in 1927 by former lover Winnaretta Singer, the wife
of Prince Edmond de Polignac and heiress of the Singer sewing machine
empire. Violet was a celebrated hostess at La Tour for many years. Her friends included Colette, Jean Cocteau, Osbert Sitwell, Rebecca West, Nancy Mitford, Lady Diana Cooper, Francis Poulenc and the rest of the Groupe des Six, and Arthur Rubinstein. The village of Saint Loup de Naud was throughout the 20th Century, the place of residence or inspiration for a plethora of intellectuals, among whom Marcel Proust, Louise Roblot-Delondre and Pierre-Eugène Clairin.
For further information on Violet Trefusis, see P. Jullian & J. Phillips, Violet Trefusis, A Biography, including correspondence with Vita Sackville-West, London & Edinburgh, 1976.