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The Husband Hunters

Social Climbing in London and New York
Narrated by: Clare Corbett
Length: 10 hrs and 41 mins
Categories: History, British
4.5 out of 5 stars (64 ratings)

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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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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

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

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

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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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

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.