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To Marry an English Lord: Tales of Wealth…

To Marry an English Lord: Tales of Wealth and Marriage, Sex and Snobbery (1989)

by Gail MacColl, Carol McD. Wallace

Other authors: David Cain (Illustrator)

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6182624,305 (3.69)37



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» See also 37 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 26 (next | show all)
An interesting window into a time when New York Society ruled the U.S. and those who were shut out of it chose to go across the ocean to England to find titled husbands. This was helped by the fact that the U.S. allowed daughters to inherit while English law permitted only male inheritance. Therefore, destitute noblemen could look to American heiresses to ease their debts in ways that English women could not. ( )
  JenniferRobb | Aug 23, 2017 |
At first I was impressed w/ the glitter & lifestyles, but then I read about how awful country life could be; MacColl doesn't really go into to the relationships of the rich imported heiress & their new staid English servants, but it could not have been easy nor would it have been easy getting along w/ in-laws...

It was amazing to learn that after many couples had their heir, they began multiple or long-term affairs and no one blinked an eye: going so far as to have house parties where both lovers were invited.

...and one could almost feel badly for them, until one reads about the wild parties both in & out of London & the flagrant waste of money, especially when entertaining Edward VII & Alexandra. The women had no less than 4-6 changes of clothing per day and during a house party (whether it be overnight or several days) no one ever wore the same thing twice. The one redeeming factor was that all leftover food was given either to the village or the London poor.

Families covered included: Astor, Vanderbuilt, Wadsworth, Pfizer, Post, Pinchot, Leiter (Curzon), Jerome (Churchill), Hammersley (Churchill-Marlborough), Golet, Colgate, & Burbank; to name a few.

The book itself was amazingly interesting, but oddly put together....

I really dislike being in the middle of something only to have it interrupted on the next 1-2 pages with an inserted anecdote or informative blurb; I find it more than distracting & irritating. The paper was stark white w/ small print, so at times it was difficult to read.

There were too many asides and the stories of the heiresses were broken up & strewn about from one chapter to the next, which was why I only gave this 3 stars. ( )
  Auntie-Nanuuq | Aug 10, 2017 |
A narrowly focused history book reviewing the circumstances under which dozens of rich American girls married into English nobility in the late Victorian era. Informative for the amateur historian, entertaining for the novice anglophile, but infuriating for all readers due to an extremely poor, choppy layout. Every few pages the narrative flow is interrupted with a one or two page inset of unrelated text, causing the reader to constantly flip back and forth. I can only imagine how much more of a problem this is in an electronic format which doesn't allow for swift or easy flipping and without at least the visual cues of the pages to differentiate between main text and sidebar. ( )
  bensdad00 | Jan 10, 2017 |
Really enjoyed this look at the American bridal invasion into the British aristocracy during the late 1800's. Great photos and illustrations enhanced the well written text. ( )
  Iambookish | Dec 14, 2016 |
An excellent book for research—being that it was extremely well research itself! Incidentally, the American heiresses who married into the British aristocracy, were ridiculed, belittled, yet, it was only thanks to their money that that very aristocracy was able to survive. According to the book, most of these marriages were not happy—yet even among British aristocracy marriages were of convenience and very seldom for love. But there was at least one very happy result: Winston Churchill! The book has also plenty of beautiful pictures. A must read. ( )
  MrsRK | Nov 21, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 26 (next | show all)
"Large fortunes were made in post-Civil War America. Young heiresses, cold-shouldered by an entrenched aristocracy that scorned new money, looked across the sea to find husbands among titled young Englishmen who were long on status but very short of cash. Nancy Astor and Jennie Churchill are the most famous of more than 100 of these trans-Atlantic brides. This light-hearted bit of social history is lavishly illustrated and bedecked with sidebars and boxes of charts, lively quotes, and other supplementary material. A full register of these enterprising young ladies and a "Walking Tour'' are included. Not only fun, but a definitive round-up of the players."
added by 2wonderY | editLibrary Journal

» Add other authors (1 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Gail MacCollprimary authorall editionscalculated
Wallace, Carol McD.main authorall editionsconfirmed
Cain, DavidIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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For Peter Jarrett, my very own English husband with love and thanks. G.L.M.; With affectionate respect to the memories of Mrs. Wharton and Mr. James. C. McD W.
First words
On a bright fall day in 1860, three hundred thousand people, nearly half the population of New York City, stood jostling each other and craning their necks on either side of Broadway.
There will always be an England, especially in America!
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Book description
Wonderful book detailing the flight of "new money" American Heiresses overseas to England in search of impoverished titled Husbands in the late 19th Century.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0894809393, Paperback)

In 1895, nine American girls, including a Vanderbilt (railroads), LaRoche (pharmaceuticals), Rogers (oil) and Whitney (New York trolleys), married peers of the British new money, among them, a duke, an earl, three barons and a knight. It was the peak year of a social phenomenon that began when the entrenched members of old New York snubbed these "new money" families after the Civil War, sending them off to England in quest of class and bequeathing to us Anglomania, Preppy, the Jet Set, and even Princess Di.

Here is the American Heiress's story. Filled with tales of wealth and marriage, sex and snobbery -- and 100-year-old gossip that's still scorching -- To Marry an English Lord is a heavily illustrated and energetically presented popular history. A rich tapestry of essays, sidebars, fact-filled boxes, and lively anecdotesoXcombined with wealth of portraits, drawings, photographs, and other rare Victoriana -- it chronicles the era of Mrs. Astor, Edith Wharton, King Edward VII, and the Marlborough House Set. Over 100 heiresses swapped dollars for titles. To Marry an English Lord is the only book to tell how they did it. Selection of the Book-of-the-Month Club.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:14:03 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

Read about a unique set of American women cutting a swath through stodgy 19th century British aristocracy. The book covers not just who they were but the lows and the triumphs of their inter-continental marriages. Also included are many fascinating details on how they dressed and what they had to go through.

» see all 3 descriptions

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