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Publisher's Summary

"A dynamic group biography studded with design history and high-society dash.... [This] elegantly wrought narrative bears the Cartier hallmark." (The Economist)

The captivating story of the family behind the Cartier empire and the three brothers who turned their grandfather’s humble Parisian jewelry store into a global luxury icon - as told by a great-granddaughter with exclusive access to long-lost family archives.

"Ms. Cartier Brickell has done her grandfather proud." (The Wall Street Journal)

The Cartiers is the revealing tale of a jewelry dynasty - four generations, from revolutionary France to the 1970s. At its heart are the three Cartier brothers whose motto was "Never copy, only create" and who made their family firm internationally famous in the early days of the 20th century, thanks to their unique and complementary talents: Louis, the visionary designer who created the first men’s wristwatch to help an aviator friend tell the time without taking his hands off the controls of his flying machine; Pierre, the master dealmaker who bought the New York headquarters on Fifth Avenue for a double-stranded natural pearl necklace; and Jacques, the globe-trotting gemstone expert whose travels to India gave Cartier access to the world’s best rubies, emeralds, and sapphires, inspiring the celebrated Tutti Frutti jewelry.

Francesca Cartier Brickell, whose great-grandfather was the youngest of the brothers, has traveled the world researching her family’s history, tracking down those connected with her ancestors and discovering long-lost pieces of the puzzle along the way. Now she reveals never-before-told dramas, romances, intrigues, betrayals, and more.

The Cartiers also offers a behind-the-scenes look at the firm’s most iconic jewelry - the notoriously cursed Hope Diamond, the Romanov emeralds, the classic panther pieces - and the long line of stars from the worlds of fashion, film, and royalty who wore them, from Indian maharajas and Russian grand duchesses to Wallis Simpson, Coco Chanel, and Elizabeth Taylor. Published in the 200th anniversary year of the birth of the dynasty’s founder, Louis-François Cartier, this audiobook is a magnificent, definitive, epic social history shown through the deeply personal lens of one legendary family.

©2019 Francesca Cartier Brickell (P)2019 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

“Four generations of genius, glamour, and ambition are laid bare in Francesca Cartier Brickell’s behind-the-scenes account of the Cartier family. Part social history, part affectionate memoir, The Cartiers is a pleasurable stroll through the glittering byways of a more elegant age.” (Amanda Foreman, New York Times best-selling author of A World on Fire)

“Francesca Cartier Brickell skillfully traces her family’s astounding history through the contents of a weathered suitcase found in her grandfather’s cellar. The result is a fascinating account of the Cartier brothers and the creation of this iconic and enduring luxury brand. (André Leon Talley, best-selling author of A.L.T.: A Memoir

The Cartiers is the sparkling saga of one of the globe’s most iconic jewelry dynasties, beautifully recounted by a direct descendant of the company’s founders. With her insider’s understanding of the family business, a historian’s precision, and a novelist’s keen eye for personal detail, Francesca Cartier Brickell has created a seeming contradiction: an epic yet personal chronicle.” (Rhonda K. Garelick, author of Mademoiselle: Coco Chanel and the Pulse of History)

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What listeners say about The Cartiers

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Amazing

This is an important work because it is not only historical but an appreciative history of a family's struggle to be creative and make money - fascinating, as a creative I hung on every word

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A Brilliant Gem

Francesca has used her great skill in writing this history of the Cartier families in such an excellent manner, that it compares with the high standards always expected by her forebears in their craftsmanship of jewelry, watches, clocks and other desirable high end items.
The book relates the story of the family members and how their careers developed and business expanded, while many other events were taking place in the world at the same time. Not only political events and two world wars, but also the effect of and on fashion houses and how they interacted. This is what makes it all so fascinating.
I will be surprised if Francesca is not awarded a prize for this outstanding book.
The narration of Mattie Morahan was a bit fast for me so I set the speed at 90, which made it perfect (and shared the pleasure a bit longer).

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Incredible real life story

A family that touched on so many historical events. painstakingly researched, beautifully written and narrated.

It's like a real life epic filled with princes, princesses, politicians and celebrities. Highly recommend.

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  • BB
  • 12-01-2020

Wonderful Experience to Listen to This Story

This is one of the rare Audible books I have listened to where I ordered two copies of the bound book for myself and a dear friend and I highly recommend doing so. The author has admirably covered several centuries of the Cartier’s responsible for the international company and their beautiful works of art. Having the genealogy chart and the many photos that are in the book make this listening experience even more wonderful. This is one of those rare occasions, however, when the narrator’s performance is so superb it is not to be missed. Plaudits to the author for doing such a great job of telling her family’s remarkable story.

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  • Chris
  • 15-12-2019

The most amazing story

Francesca takes you through the history of Cartier in novel like fashion. The story isn’t nearly a timeline and facts, but an escape of a story of how events came to be. The Precision, the care the style the design that went into every perfect detail of Cartier is laid out here. The book filled with anecdotes and journeys that will take you around the world meeting kings, queens, rulers and the most elite heiresses. A fascinating read up to the very last sentence..

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  • Spencer
  • 06-02-2020

A New Favorite

I am both a history lover as well as a BIG lover of jewelry and this book checked all my boxes. Wonderfully researched, wonderfully written, and wonderfully read aloud by Hattie Morahan. This was a pleasure start to finish. Truly cannot recommend this book enough if you are at all interested in the topic

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  • Autodidact
  • 28-03-2021

compelling

The 22hour length may seem daunting but when the writing is sparkling, the subject rich and fascinating and the narrator excellent, 22 hours is not enough.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 09-05-2020

Fascinating!

Well written, well read, well worth your time. On the favorite list from now on.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Leslie
  • 04-04-2020

Fascinating, well-written, and even amazing.

Never would have imagined that a jewelry "store" had such a long and fascinating history. It's a real adventure to follow the lives of the Cartier founder, his sons and grandsons, their wives and children, and the many changes in society and the world they lived through. Never would have imagined so much went into designing, making and selling jewelry. Never realized the Cartiers provided some of the most extraordinary jewelry ever designed and worn by kings, queens, empresses, duchesses, maharajas...oh my! Not for years have I enjoyed a book so much.

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  • Eric Conley
  • 19-07-2021

DAZZLING!

I loved every minute of this audible book. Loved the family history, locations, and the descriptions of the jewels and the fascinating people who acquired and wore them. The narrator is stellar!
Highly recommend for both the jewelry lover and history buff!

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 19-07-2021

it's a genuine work of love and loyalty to heritag

the work is detailed and fluent giving the listener a vivid image of the times and people discribed. metaphorically it is another well crafted work of the Cartier legacy that gives the settings and gems of the family's life works to the history of humanity.

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  • Gwen Wilson
  • 07-07-2021

A glittering tale

This well-written and beautifully narrated book is not just an intimate history of the Cartier family—it’s an accessible account of one of the most tumultuous eras in world history. Beginning in the Napoleonic wars and ending in the swinging 60’s, with 2 world wars and a depression in between, this is a rollicking story of ambition, ingenuity and of course, beautiful gems. Tremendous fun.

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  • Richard Jones
  • 19-06-2021

A five star listen , for everyone,

Hi,,,simply the best audiobook , I have ever listened to, Francessca has won my highest praise for research, and Hattie Morahan , again, won my admiration, for narration, myself a retired English farmer , was enthralled to hear , the history of the Cartier family, and there presentation of jewellery,, Richard Anthony Jones,

1 person found this helpful

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  • Samantha pearmain
  • 03-07-2020

Fascinating historical account of a world brand.

Most of us will never own a cartier piece of jewellery but my appreciation of quality increased tenfold after listening to this story about an iconic brand.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 16-06-2021

Incredible

Wow what a book!
An incredible depiction of the life and times of the Cartiers and their business, as a jeweller myself, it is hugely inspiring and as a fan of Cartier, there is nothing better than this book.

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  • AlisonF
  • 13-04-2020

Very good read

I really enjoyed this book and the narration was spot on. Lovely voice. The story is a wonderful saga of this family and the incredible changing times they lived through. Amazing tales of fabulous wealth of their customers and dedication to beauty and excellence of the Cartier brothers.
It’s a perfect audiobook. I’m finding long books ideal to listen to rather to read!

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