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The Titled Americans: Three American Sisters and the British Aristocratic World Into Which They Married
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The Titled Americans: Three American Sisters and the British Aristocratic World Into Which They Married

3.8  ·  Rating details ·  208 Ratings  ·  36 Reviews
The Titled Americans is a family saga spanning three generations, chronicling the glamorous lives of Leonard Jerome, his daughters, and their children. Raven-haired Jennie ("the beautiful') married Randolph Churchill, younger son of the Duke of Marlborough and was Winston's mother. Dreamy, blonde Clara ("the good") was romanced by the dashing Moreton Frewen, a penniless yo ...more
Hardcover, 452 pages
Published November 18th 2004 by Atlantic Monthly Press (first published September 23rd 2004)
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Cheryl Gatling
As the book says, "Leonard Jerome was born in 1818 on a farm at Pompey Hill, near Syracuse in Western New York State." That farm is around the corner from the house where I grew up. Many times I rode my bike past "the Jerome house" on "Jerome Road." Because of that, I like to think of all the Jeromes as local kids who "done good." That is really stretching the connection, though, because once Leonard left the farm, he never looked back. He went to New York City and made a few million in the stoc ...more
Jan 12, 2014 rated it liked it
A very interesting read--part of a cache of books I picked up to prepare myself for when I finally cave to pressure and start watching Downton Abbey. I found the "family biography" format a little strained by the dominating presence of Jennie Churchill, whose social success and distinguished son Winston pull the focus of the narrative in her direction. Indeed, the sister I most enjoyed reading about was Leonie, the youngest, to whom the author gives short shrift until the end of the book. Of the ...more
Dec 13, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I will start by saying that Kehoe's writing is lovely and is much easier to read and follow than other very dry historical accounts I have read. The three stars is for that alone.

I found the subjects of this novel infuriating! While I did admire the bond the sisters shared throughout their lives, I found their personalities and their unwillingness to learn from their mistakes frustrating. In fact, the entire family was completely delusional, about finances in particular, and never made the effor
Jul 18, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction, biography
Meh. This is obviously well researched and I do admit that finding out that Winston Churchills father (SPOILER) died from syphillis related disease and his mom (SPOILER) was a little bit of a slut was pretty interesting. But this book spent a lot of time with the details of what each of these ladies was bringing in each year from their family inheritances and then how they blew the cash with lavish life styles. There was not a lot to admire or find interesting about these women. I've read biogra ...more
I didn't start out loving this book. The writing style is a bit stiff, like a doctoral thesis, but in the end it won me over. This book is Jennie Jerome (Churchill) heavy, but she is the most popular one both in life and in death. It was interesting to see Winston Churchill as a most beloved nephew, popular cousin and favorite son. His accomplishments only briefly mentioned, but his relationships with his cousins were some of my favorite bits. This is also the best description of Jennie's marria ...more
Feb 26, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I stumbled on this book in the library and thought I'd take it home for a test drive - maybe just look at the pictures. I was quickly hooked and enjoyed it very much. This is a great read for those who like the Gilded Age, dallying princes and wretched excess in all its forms. But in the end, this is a very sad story. The sisters were trained for a profession [wife of rich titled gentleman], but ended up marrying for love and doing without money, a situation for which they were ill-prepared.
May 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of the best books I have read. Fascinating. Very well-researched and complemented by the Jerome sisters own words through family letters. It's a step back in time that paints a vivid picture of an era where wealthy Americans sought marriage into British aristocracy leading to some famous pairings. It also lends insight into British rule and land ownership in Ireland.
Aug 02, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Mar 04, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Impecunious. Do YOU know what this word means? Well, neither did I, until reading this word so many times in this book - I got the idea. FYI - having little or no money. Poverty. Despite this irritating word used too many times, I really liked this book. I feel like I now know the Jerome sisters pretty well. Especially Jenny, Winston Churchill's mama. People, especially celebrities, often aren't what they seem. True then as now, which makes the story all the more interesting. Like other wealthy ...more
Connie Fischer
Mar 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is an in-depth autobiography of the three American Jerome sisters whose father made his wealth in New York. The girls’ mother decided to take them to Paris and England for them to learn French and the European way of life. Her goal was for them to marry wealthy and titled men.

Clara, Jennie, and Leonie are very close but with different personalities. We follow them as they learn European manners and instruction in standing out in society. Although their mother, Clarissa, wanted them to marr
Feb 13, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Three Jerome sisters each married titled Englishmen as their mother wished, though not necessarily the specific 'gentlemen' she would have liked. While their mother wanted them to marry first born sons, they married for 'love.' One of the sisters, Jennie, married Randolph Churchill and bore a son who was to make somewhat of a name for himself, Winston Churchill. Winston was the favorite of all the cousins.
Each of the sisters had been raised in high society and continued to keep up appearances t
May 28, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Amazing to me that all of these women lived in a fairy-tale land of Princes and Balls and Servants - but they had absolutely no money sense about them at all and on at least one occasion the servants didn't get paid and the Bailiff turned up on the doorstep.
The book covers the "fall of the country house" period, which I found interesting.
Even more interesting to me was that all three of them had notorious affairs (even Leonie who had married for love) and many of their children are thought to
Feb 23, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book gives a decidedly unromanticized picture of the "American heiress marries British aristocrat" trend of the late 1800s. The three Jerome sisters lived the privileged life of the wealthy until their marriages, but each of them lived in financially stretched circumstances for the rest of their lives. None of the sisters, nor their husbands, come off as particularly likable in the narrative - contributing so much to their own hardships that they could well be referred to as the "entitled" ...more
Aug 21, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

The interesting part of this book was the fact that these basically were the very first gold digging minded woman, who loved to leave well above their means, in a totally false lifestyle.. ALL THREE WERE BROKE!

Nothing has changed, has it? Except that thereafter, the Brits got smarter and married woman of wealth, or had their parents arrange it to achieve title. As a whole, the ladies were without much soul, and their children were the ones that suffered.
Joyce Kirk
This is a fascinating insight into trans-Atlantic migration centred on the Jerome sisters one of whom became Lady Randolph Churchill. Against the backdrop of the English upper class and its traditions this family story provides comment on the impact of significant social and economic change on family life, the role of women and the class system.
Michelle Szetela
I could not maintain interest in this book, which I gave up reading after fewer than 50 pages. Interesting, to be sure, for a certain type of person, I could not stand the minutiae of the money, which was seemingly mentioned several times a paragraph. I understand that this was a key element in these marriages, but I was more interested in the related broader social issue.
Christina Jackson
Feb 08, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
For reasons I cannot explain, I love multi-generational family biographies. Much if the information was new to me, most notably that Churchill's mother was American. I am also predisposed to liking turn of the century tales and most things British. Take my review for what it is worth.
Nancy Yob
Sep 18, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The story was very interesting. It almost seemed like it could be a work of fiction. I think I was most surprised by the fact that they had to borrow money so often and were living beyond their means so much.
Feb 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I thought this was going to be yet another book about Jennie Jerome, but I was wrong. It is a Jerome Family memoir. Mother, Father, sisters, husbands, grandchildren, in-laws are here in great detail. I am three quarters done and I am loving every word.
Missy Cahill
Interesting at the beginning but like someone else noted it got quite boring to hear about Moreton Frewan's monetary issues. Curious to read more about Winston Churchills life now, but overall a pretty 'meh' biography.
May 06, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a typical library book for me. I thought it was engaging and worthwhile to read, but I would have never purchased this book. I especially liked the stories of three lives on the backdrop of historical events.
Aug 17, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Great historical research and fact checking. Although not an uplifting read by any stretch of the imagination. Revealing information on the upbringing on PMChurchill. Amazing the struggles faced by women emerging from the Victorian era are shown throughout the book.
Dec 16, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Yes, another of my "boring" nonfiction books! Actually, I'm enjoying this one immensely. It's about Winston Churchill's mother and her sisters. Very absorbing--though the constant partying and entertaining can get a little tedious!
Jan 28, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A biography of Jennie Churchill and her sisters. I enjoyed it very much.
Somehow forgot to add this until. Really interesting life stories, particularly Jennie, Winston Churchill's mother.
Kelly Weikle
Very informative read...but was hard to get through. It dallied off into long descriptions of other parts of history that did not have to do with the Jerome sisters.
Jun 25, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Jul 25, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent read.Lots of detail but NOT boring. So far so Good!
Shannon Miller
Jun 18, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
It might be deserving of a better rating, but it reads more like a text book and I really don't find it interesting.
Jul 09, 2009 rated it really liked it
An interesting look at Winston Churchill's mother and her sisters.
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Price? :) 1 2 Jun 28, 2011 10:29AM  
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