- Hardcover: 320 pages
- Publisher: Aurum Press (9 Feb. 2017)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1781315965
- ISBN-13: 978-1781315965
- Product Dimensions: 16.5 x 2.9 x 24.1 cm
- Average Customer Review: 53 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 258,807 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The Transatlantic Marriage Bureau: Husband hunting in the Gilded Age: How American heiresses conquered the aristocracy Hardcover – 9 Feb 2017
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About the Author
Julie Ferry is a freelance journalist and has written for The Guardian, Independent, Sunday Times and Sunday Telegraph. She lives with her husband and two children in Bristol.
The Transatlantic Marriage Bureau is her first book.
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Wealthy Americans, some of whom grew obscenely rich during the Civil War, were certainly keen to purchase a slice of British 'high society'.
The main thrust of this book is the role played by two of the most successful, if unofficial, marriage brokers of the era - Lady Minnie Paget and Consuelo Yznaga, Dowager Duchess of Manchester. Both women were American and had married into the British aristocracy, so knew the ropes, so to speak, and had contacts.
All well and good - however, as we are often told, money cannot buy happiness and this book charts the highs and the monumental lows associated with such arrangements.
Unfortunately I was rather disappointed with this book. An interesting subject, a rich seam of history to consult but a somewhat thin result.
As other reviewers have noted, the author has conjured-up scenes of fancy - people 'ring their hands' 'gaze out of the window', thought this, appraised that, without any evidence that is indeed what happened. Perhaps this book would have been a worthy base for a novel. As a history book it is somewhat muddled and I would have appreciated more in the way of background information on exactly how some of these families accumulated wealth; how did they travel around Europe; who supported these people on their travels - how many staff did it take to keep the 'show on the road'; did these women bring personal maids with them and if so, did they stay in Britain, did they marry British men? Such material is readily available for research and would have made for a much more satisfactory, 'deeper' story.
It concentrated upon a few unsuccessful marriages and ignored those that worked such as Mary Goelet to the Duke of Roxburghe. There was very little new here. The book Consuelo and Alva debunked some theories about the Marlborough marriage but this book ignored it and treated Consuelo Marlborough's book as gospel even when it doesn't make sense.
It was well written and readable but the information was disappointing.
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