Joyce Anstruther was born in 1901. She was the younger of two children born to Harry (Henry) Torrens Anstruther, M.P. and his wife, (later Dame) Eva Anstruther née Hanbury-Tracy. She was educated privately in London. In class, she used to sit behind Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon (the future Queen, H.R.H. Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother) and would occasionally dip the long tresses of 'royal' hair into the ink-well. In later life, when quizzed about this by an Anstruther family member, the ever-tactful Queen Mother declared that she could recall nothing of it!
These signatures are extracted from "The Anstruther Guest Book" and, in reality, they chronicle her journey from unmarried Anstruther daughter to Joyce, the wife of Tony Maxtone Graham and thence to divorcee "Jan Struther" and her second marriage to Dolf Placzek. Her life story may be found by visiting the "Mrs. Miniver" pages on this site via the key link above.
For fifty years there was a Guest Book on the hall table at the various Anstruther homes. Created in 1901, it records visits made by family, friends and professional colleagues to the houses of Harry (her father) and Douglas (her brother) between 1901 and 1952. In the first part, over a period of several years, there are signings by politicians - writers - sporting personalities - cousins, creators and their kith and kin - many of them vital cogs in the then Imperial wheel. Cyril Maude and Winifred Emery, the actors - Sopwith, the aviation engineer, Buchan and Delafield the writers - wheelers, dealers, diarists, agents, translators, inventors, and suffragettes ... and connections to a host of other personalities of the age; the Guest Book provides a fascinating peek at society through the social keyhole of an Edwardian country house. (Click on the image at right.)