Kathaileen's Reviews > The Glitter and the Gold

The Glitter and the Gold by Consuelo Vanderbilt Balsan
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Nov 05, 07

bookshelves: biography-memoir
Read in March, 2006

Interesting after visiting Blenheim Palace. Consuelo was an heiress to the Vanderbilt fortune. Her mother forced her into a marriage in the English aristocracy for the prestige. She was literally locked in her room and not allowed contact with the outside world. This was before telephones etc. and they had many servants with strict orders to watch her. The Duke of Marlborough wasn’t in love with her and vice versa but her money helped maintain his palace. After many years of unhappy marriage and producing an heir and a spare, they were divorced.
I enjoyed the book grudgingly. Her life was extremely full and interesting. From the gilded age to the beginning of WWII, her life was full of interesting and famous people. It was amazing that she wrote this book herself. There in lies the problem. I could have done with a lot less wordiness and French phrases (almost as if to show she was very sophisticated more than to tell the story). The story could have been told a lot simpler.
It did however spark my interest enough to buy the book “Consuelo and Alva” about the relationship between her and her mother.
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