By Jacky Hyams

Frances Look inside
  • Publication Date: 4 Sep 2014
  • Publisher: John Blake Publishing Ltd
  • Imprint: John Blake Publishing Ltd
ISBN: 9781782197676
eBook (ePub/MOBI)
ISBN: 9781784181857



She was young, very beautiful and had everything to live for - but the life of Frances Shea, briefly married to Reggie Kray, remains one of the most tragic stories of the Swinging Sixties. Courted by Reggie as a schoolgirl, her eight-year relationship with him drew Frances into an outwardly glamorous world of nightclubs, fast cars, beautiful clothes and showbiz parties. Yet as time went on, she found herself struggling to cope with the real world of the Krays, the hidden world that lay beneath the glossy facade and the cosy cups of tea in the downstairs parlour in 'Fort Vallance', their East End home, a horrific world of violence, drink, drugs - and sheer terror. By the time Frances married Reggie in their very public, celebrity-strewn 'Wedding of the Year' in 1965, her life - and that of her own family - had become inextricably linked with Ronnie and Reggie's rapid downward spiral from gangland extortion and brutality into senseless murder and mayhem. Possessive in the extreme, Reggie remained obsessed by his wife from the day he met her - but he was never prepared to let her go. And despite her desperate attempts to break free, just two years after their wedding, Frances was found dead from a drug overdose, in her brother's flat, at the age of just 23. Only now, 50 years later, in a revealing and sometimes shocking examination of the facts behind the myths, the truth about the life of Frances Shea and her marriage to one of the Kray twins can finally be revealed, bringing with it the troubled, secret story behind Reggie's obsession with her. Unseen until now, documents and diaries reveal the reality of their life together - and how the effect of their tragic, doomed relationship continued to haunt the lives of those closest to Frances right to the end.

About the author

JACKY HYAMS is a freelance journalist, editor, columnist and author with over 25 years' experience in writing for mass-market magazines and newspapers in the UK and Australia. A Londoner who has spent many years travelling, her feature-writing career was launched in Sydney, Australia, where she wrote extensively for the Sydney Morning Herald, Sun Herald, Cosmopolitan, Rolling Stone, Good Housekeeping, New Idea, Clio and The Australian Women's Weekly. Returning to London, she spent several years as a women's magazine editor on Bella Magazine, followed by six years as a weekly columnist on the London Evening Standard. Her memoir, Bombsites and Lollipops: My 1950s East End Childhood, and its follow-up, White Boots & Miniskirts: A True Story of Life in the Swinging Sixties, were published in 2011 and 2013 respectively, both by John Blake Publishing. She is also the author of The Real Downton Abbey, a brief guide to the Edwardian era (John Blake Publishing, 2011) and The Female Few, a study of the women Spitfire pilots of the Air Transport Auxiliary, while her most recent book is Bomb Girls: Britain's Secret Army: The Munitions Women of World War II (John Blake Publishing, 2013).

Submit a Rating

Only registered users can submit ratings. Please, log in or register