The Husband Hunters: American Heiresses Who Married into the British Aristocracy
A deliciously told group biography of the young, rich, American heiresses who married impoverished, British gentry at the turn of the twentieth century The real women who inspired Downton Abbey
Towards the end of the nineteenth century and for the first few years of the twentieth, a strange invasion took place in Britain. The citadel of power, privilege and breeding in...more
I had previously read "To Marry an English Lord" by Gail MacColl, which covers similar ...more
They say money can't buy you happiness but in the late 1800s and early 1900s, it could buy you a husband. "Whoever said money can't buy happiness simply didn't know where to go shopping." (Bo Derek) ...and shopping these girls and their mothers did. They were shopping for an entrance into high society and were willing with their bags filled with money to climb that social ladder no matter what it took. This was the world of The Husband Hunters: Social Climbing in ...more
I marvel at how sometimes writers can turn the most interesting subjects into dull books.
So many clichés. Basically it seemed to boil down to 'American girls had money, were lively, confident, educated and outspoken. Impoverished English gentlemen found them far more attractive than English girls who were undereducated, quiet and retiring and lived their lives in ...more
Many thanks go to Anne de Courcy, W & N, and Netgalley for the free copy of this book in exchange for my unbiased review.
Edith Wharton's classic The Buccaneers comes to life in this page-turner. So many young ladies of the great monied classic in America sought the hand and titles of the royalty in Europe, or should I say their mothers did for their daughters. No price was too large, no trip too far, no peerage too high for these esteemed, and sometimes somewhat tacky women.
Thanks to Netgalley and St Martins Press for an ARC!
DNF at 13%
Another one that just really put me to sleep. Its not a good sign when the introduction which tells me who the subjects are is too long and drawn out and puts me to sleep. I dont even remember who the heiresses are, honestly. Too many names said and never mentioned again.
I could tell this was meticulously researched, but it was very repetitive and I couldnt break into the denseness of this text to ...more
It is a truth universally acknowledged that the stately homes of England have always been in dire need of an injection of capital. Equally, that American money looks to the English aristocracy for an injection of class. At the turn of the last century, this mutual requirement reached its apotheosis in the Gilded Age. Superrich American matrons raked the ranks of English noblemen in search of the most desirable titles for their daughters (nothing less than an earl would do). This was not ...more
Lately, Ive had so many books come into my life at just the right time. I had just finished Master of His Fate by Barbara Taylor Bradford, and towards the end of the book, there was a reference to the phrase Buccaneers. While I immediately thought of pirates, The phrase stems from the Edith Wharton novel The Buccaneers, which refers to a group of wealthy American women who were groomed for marriage to the privileged upper ...more
The good news is that de Courcy starts off with an interesting premise--that it was less about ambitious daughters trading cash for class, and more about their mothers seeking social mobility. I found the discussion of early New York being run (socially) by the matriarchs to be pretty interesting. The drawback to this is that ...more