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Wedlock: How Georgian Britain's Worst Husband Met His Match
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Wedlock: How Georgian Britain's Worst Husband Met His Match

3.85  ·  Rating details ·  1,328 Ratings  ·  219 Reviews
With the death of her fabulously wealthy coal magnate father when she was just eleven, Mary Eleanor Bowes became the richest heiress in Britain. An ancestor of Queen Elizabeth II, Mary grew to be a highly educated young woman, winning acclaim as a playwright and botanist. Courted by a bevy of eager suitors, at eighteen she married the handsome but aloof ninth Earl of Strat ...more
Paperback, 502 pages
Published 2010 by Phoenix (first published 2009)
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Saleh MoonWalker
Onvan : Wedlock - Nevisande : Wendy Moore - ISBN : 307383369 - ISBN13 : 9780307383365 - Dar 400 Safhe - Saal e Chap : 2009
Hannah
WOW

THIS book is the perfect example of why I love historical non-fiction. Based on well researched and documented sources, author Wendy Moore has penned an incredible, almost-defies-belief account of the life of Mary Eleanor Bowes, an ancestor of Queen Elizabeth II (via the late Queen Mother). Just how well researched and documented can be attested by the 40 plus pages of meticulous end notes found at the end of the book. Wedlock is, quite simply, one of the most riveting books I've ever had the
...more
Pete daPixie
May 30, 2013 rated it really liked it
Here is another very kind donation to my reading pile by a neighbour of mine who was having 'a clear out'. She knows that I am a reader of historical non-fiction, so I was in receipt of a large collection of books, of which this one was included. To be honest I didn't quite fancy this, perhaps the title 'Wedlock-How Georgian Britain's Worst Husband Met His Match' didn't fire my interest. Don't judge a book by it's title, could be the maxim here.
Wendy Moore's biography of the Countess of Strathmo
...more
Deirdre
Mar 18, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Mary Eleanor Bowes was a lucky girl. An only child, she was indulged and educated but was also an heiress. Her first marriage wasn't really much, Lord Strathmore or John Lyon, wasn't really a good match, he didn't really approve of her botanical studies (though he didn't stop her); and he was a little jealous of the wealth she brought into the relationship, along with stipulations. In 18th Century England a woman owned nothing, it was the males in her life that owned things, she was completely d ...more
Mela
As I have written, this book is awesome, delightful, enjoyable, magnificent. A great historical work made by Moore.

A story is awesome. It is hard to believe that it is a true story.

Georgian Britain is described in the delightful and enjoyable way despite it was very brutal and unfair world especially for women. I can still comprehend how long women meant almost nothing in law.

It is a magnificent piece of work through which you can learn about eighteenth-century Britain. And it is written in the
...more
William Irvine
Feb 27, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was intrigued by this biography after hearing a radio interview with its author, Wendy Moore, in which she outlined the history it is based upon, and that she herself researched. I read the first chapter, with its swashbuckling dual scene, and came close to ‘filing it in the bin’. I’m glad I didn’t, because by the end it had taught me so much that I hadn’t known about the social history of women in Georgian Britain.

Wealthy heiress to a coal fortune, Mary Eleanor Bowes, was a contemporary of G
...more
Jean Godwin Carroll
Aug 13, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of Phillipa Gregory
Shelves: non-fiction
Excellent book set in the 1770's in England. A reminder that women previously had zero rights afforded to them by law during that time. Mary Eleanor Bowes was a wealthy woman who was swindled into marrying a lowly military officer, Richard Stoney. Once married, everything she owned became his to do with as he pleased. Over the course of eight years, he squandered all of her money on gambling, prostitutes; kept her as a prisoner, and beat her savagely on a regular basis. This was actually allowed ...more
MAP
This book tells the story of Mary Eleanor Bowes, who spent 8 years in a brutally abusive relationship and was one of the first women in England to successfully LEGALLY escape from such brutality. The descriptions are vivid and shocking, but something about the book seemed to plod. I was especially disappointed that there wasn't a section devoted to portraits, pictures of letters, copies of the caricatures, etc.
June Hur
Apr 12, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Gerry
May 10, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Set against the background of Georgian England, this is an extraordinary family history as Mary Eleanor, Countess of Strathmore, is tricked into marriage with Andrew Robinson Stoney, an itinerant soldier.

How she paid for her mistake is almost unbelievable as her husband is not only a serial philanderer (how many illegitimate children he fathered is difficult to keep track of unless one has an abacus at one's side while reading the book) but an absolute brute of a husband who constantly beat his
...more
Lisa
Jan 15, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
An interesting and fascinating insight into marriage, life and love in the Georgian era, where the majority of the upper and middle classes married for money and bloodline and where most women had no say whatsoever in how their lives were run. At a time when mistresses and illigitimate offspring were accepted by spouses, though sometimes hidden away, women were owned by their menfolk and the rule of thumb was law; this is a story that will resonate with modern horror stories of spousal abuse but ...more
Carol
Apr 04, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: history and social sciences majors
Shelves: history, biography
So many facts! A Goodreads friend recommended this when I asked a question. I wanted to get back into biographies, which I had not read in years. I think she also knew that I liked historical fiction. So this was a good choice.

Wedlock is so full of facts that it did not read so much as a biography, but a history dissertation. How anyone would find this much information on one person is amazing to me. Information for this woman and the period.

What was transfixing was the nature of the news, jou
...more
Kerin Ingman
Jan 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Well what can I say about this book

This is a story of a Georgian amazingly wealthy heiress (and ancestor of Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother and therefore Queen Elizabeth II) who was married off to the Earl of Strathmore. After the end of the loveless marriage she ends up marrying Captain Stoney (where the phrase 'stoney broke' comes from) whether she did this because she was naive, stupid or was manipulated by Captain Stoney (or a combination of all three) is not me to decide but the real story
...more
Jodi
Oct 13, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Donna
Nov 02, 2011 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: women
Recommended to Donna by: a colleague
As a woman, this is the kind of book that makes you glad you're alive now, and appalled by the inequality that those before us suffered through.

This is a truly remarkable tale of survival - the story in Mary Eleanor, Countess od Strathmore, who was tricked into marrying a monster. Written in a clear voice with the dramatic balancing the factual, this is a captivating biography that will keep you hooked from start to finish.
Tracey
A fascinating read , I cannot believe what a scoundrel Andrew Robinson Stoney was. His treatment of his wife , their servants and his stepdaughters was despicable and I'm glad he got his comeuppance in the end. a good historical read. ...more
Caroline
When a man can be described after his death by one of his closest friends as, "cowardly, insidious, hypocritical, tyrannic, mean, violent, selfish, jealous, revengeful, inhuman and savage, without a countervailing quality...a villain to the backbone", you know you're dealing with someone modern psychiatry would probably term a psychopath. It was the misfortune of Mary Eleanor Bowes, Countess of Strathmore and ancestor to the current Queen Elizabeth II through her mother Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, to ...more
Kay Bolton
Jul 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 5-star
Review taken from my Blog Post #110 in April 2011, after borrowing the book from the library.

This should have been entitled "You Couldn't Make it Up .... Seriously" a masterpiece of a Biography on the Heiress Mary Eleanor Bowes and detailing her first marriage to the Earl of Strathmore (making them the great-great-great-grandparents of our deceased Queen Mother, Elizabeth (Bowes-Lyon) and her second marriage to Irishman Andrew Robinson Stoney ..... note I said Irishman, not gentleman .... he mos
...more
Doris
Feb 05, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is an amazing book. The thorough, well researched, extremely well-written document not only of an 18th century aristocrat, Mary Eleanor Bowes, Countess of Strathmore (ancestor of the late Queen Mum) but also of the period, especially from the point of view of women's rights of which there were almost none. It's hard to believe things were this bad for women, but they were. She was tricked into marriage by the most heinous villain I've ever seen described. If there is a hell, surely he is ro ...more
P.
Mar 15, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfic
Wendy Moore has written the most readable nonfiction I have yet to read - without sacrificing research or dumbing down her tone. I guess it helps that the story she is telling is so dramatic and the people in it with such extreme personalities that they inspired authors and artists to incorporate their lives into fiction and plays. But this isn't what I'd call fun drama. It's a story about how the system of marriage and social relations was set up so that women had no rights in Georgian England. ...more
Valerie
Dec 15, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I love history, especially high profile characters and their crazy true lives. The subject of this book was great. I felt that the author did a lot of research and knew the subject very well. I learned a lot about the time. I am also reading "vanity fair" which takes place in this time.

Eventually I got a bit tired of the whole "women had no rights!!!" mantra. I mean, it was true, and that was bad, but do we have to say it on every page?

I felt that the writer talked down to me, occasionally overe
...more
Alice
Apr 18, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I absolutely loved this book. It's a truly fascinating read about a very strong woman, who manages to escape an horrifically abusive marriage during the 18th century via divorce. And she managed to escape with most of her fortune intact, as well as with her children. All of which was virtually unheard of until, really, the 20th century. Although heartbreaking in many ways, I couldn't help but be utterly inspired. And the author managed to take a real life event and turn it into a riveting story. ...more
Fence
Apr 22, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Mary Eleanor Bowes was born in 1749. Her father was extremely wealthy and, unusually for the time, had her well educated. A most eligible young woman, not least because she was the richest heiress in C18th Britain. Her first wedding was nothing unusual for the time. Pretty loveless and to an older man it wasn’t a romantic love match. Her second, to a dashing young soldier, was. Mary Eleanor probably hadn’t intended to marry Andrew Robinson Stoney, but upon hearing that he had fought a duel for h ...more
Pru Sly
Rattled through this one as the story is SUCH a winner! The absolute depravity of this foul man makes a rollicking good read and it was fabulous that he got his just deserts through the sheer bloody-minded of a strong woman fighting against all odds in a time when women's right simply didn't exist. Closed the cover and immediately recommended it to a friend and thoroughly expect it to do the rounds of all the girls.
Lynn Moore
Mar 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Well researched detailed historical biography which reads like a modern thriller. Hard to believe it is a true true story at times. Inspiring story of a strong woman fighting against an abusive husband and a more abusive legal system. Gripping.
Ebirdy
Jun 19, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5* Meticulously researched, clearly laid out and absolutely fascinating. A gem of a book and the author takes pains to show everyone in both their good and not-so-flattering lights, depending on where her research took her. Can't remember how I first heard of this book but so glad I read it.
Naomi Blackburn
Aug 06, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is a 4.5/5 star read for me. It was like a really good soap opera what this woman went through that it is hard to believe it really happened. I think the other thing that stood out to me was the unbending strenght of her.
Forgottendreamr
I couldn't finish this book. Every time I sat down to read, I seemed to find something else to do after a page or two. I'm sure she was a fascinating woman, but this couldn't have been drier.
Elizabeth Moffat
This book wasn't what I expected it to be but still a good read! I loved mary eleanor and couldn't believe the traumas she went through. Very interesting!
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the Goodreads database with this name.

Wendy Moore worked as a journalist and freelance writer for more than 25 years. She has always been interested in history, and as a result, began researching the history of medicine.

The Knife Man is her first book.
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“Having lost and regained her freedom in the most extraordinary circumstances over the course of her remarkable lifetime, few could have set a higher price on the value of liberty. And yet, as she was well aware, it was only through the fundamental principles of justice that her liberty had finally been secured.” 2 likes
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