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Publisher's Summary

Towards the end of the 19th century and for the first few years of the 20th, a strange invasion took place in Britain. The citadel of power, privilege and breeding in which the titled, land-owning governing class had barricaded itself for so long was breached. The incomers were a group of young women who, 50 years earlier, would have been looked on as the alien denizens of another world - the New World, to be precise. From 1874 - the year that Jennie Jerome, the first known 'Dollar Princess', married Randolph Churchill - to 1905, dozens of young American heiresses married into the British peerage, bringing with them all the fabulous wealth, glamour and sophistication of the Gilded Age.

Anne de Courcy sets the stories of these young women and their families in the context of their times. Based on extensive firsthand research, drawing on diaries, memoirs and letters, this richly entertaining group biography reveals what they thought of their new lives in England - and what England thought of them.

©2017 Anne de Courcy (P)2017 Orion Publishing Group

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For fans of social history.

Anne de Courcy details the reasons American girls from wealthy families married into the British Aristocracy in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The result is a provocative book that really draws attention to how recently the concept of marriage based on love has evolved and the fact that, where wealth was concerned, young women were 'sold' to titled British families, often against their will, to secure the social position of their mothers. This book would suit anyone interested in social and economic, rather than, political history. I found it fascinating: the author's descriptions of the way in which those with extreme wealth spent their money were particularly good. My 'say what?' moment came with the description of a pet monkey who had his own servant.

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Amazing wealth and lives

I really enjoyed this book. Documents the "Cash for Coronet" trading that went went on for girls of new money and not so new climbing the social ladder. The lavish parties, clothes and lifestyle. Loved this book!

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  • NanaRose
  • 27-11-2017

Husband Hunters

Loved it, very informative on the American social scene of the late 1800's, (unknown to me as an English woman.)

3 people found this helpful

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  • Angelcritique
  • 31-01-2020

Busy character list

I was disappointed to find that there are no central characters upon whom the narrative here hinges. Although there is lots of information it's all so fragmentary and reads like a laundry list. But if you enjoy learning about the excesses of the so called 'upper classes' around the turn of the 1900s, you will certainly have your eyes opened. A few good eggs among them but basically a tale of shallow and empty lives played out in a game of keeping up with the Jones' and who is 'in and who is 'out'. The strange mispronunciations by the narrator of commonplace words and names 'grates' and the jury is still out on her voice characterisations.

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  • Juliet
  • 22-10-2018

Interesting and revealing history

This is a retelling of many personal journeys to marriage and back of American heiresses marrying into the British aristocracy. Plenty of insight into how this affected both families and society, even political decisions on both sides of the Atlantic. I loved the contrast of ‘old money’ and ‘new money’ within American society. My only complaint is that through thread narrative seems to stop and start. Very enjoyable book for pleasure or historical study.

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