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A survey of the world of the wealthy heiress - glittering and gleaming, flawed and fascinating - from the seventeenth to the twenty-first centuries.

A survey of the world of the wealthy heiress - glittering and gleaming, flawed and fascinating - from the seventeenth to the twenty-first centuries.


Heiresses is a glorious book, endlessly entertaining and about much more than its stated subject. Thompson is a fabulous writer' Caroline O'Donoghue

'Witty, insightful, deliciously gossip-laden and slightly scandalous... Heiresses makes for an entertaining, occasionally sad and never less than gripping read' Anne Sebba

'Excellent... [A] wonderfully entertaining book' Sunday Times

'Exquisite and gossipy... Thompson, a gifted storyteller, obviously delighted in the writing of this book' TLS

'[A] deeply empathetic study of heiresses through the ages' The Times

'Life is less sad with money', said Emerald Cunard; Barbara Hutton was the 'Poor Little Rich Girl', but which is true?

Laura Thompson explores the phenomenon of the heiress from the seventeenth to the twenty-first centuries. Take Mary Davies, a child bride at the age of twelve, and her thousand-acre dowry of today's Mayfair and Belgravia, which gave the Grosvenors their stupendous wealth. Or Consuelo Vanderbilt, Duchess of Marlborough, whose American railroad fortune helped sustain Blenheim Palace. Winnaretta Singer showcased the work of Debussy in her Parisian salon; Daisy Fellowes enjoyed parties, fashion - and other people's husbands - without shame or conscience. Alice de Janze shot one of her lovers and was suspected of murdering a second; Woolworth heiress, Barbara Hutton, married seven times.

Money should mean power and opportunity, but in the hands of these women it was so often absent. Why did so many struggle to live with so much? Did the removal of need render their life meaningless? Were they riven with guilt at all they had, knowing they really should be happy? With her signature intelligence and wit, Laura Thompson tells these women's stories - glittering and fascinating but often sad and scandalous - on a gripping search for the answer.

Details

ISBN13: 9781803281490
Format: Paperback / softback
Number of Pages: 384
Edition: ANZ Only
Publication Date: 2 Sep 2021
Publisher: Head of Zeus
Publication City, Country: London, United Kingdom
Dimensions (cm): 23.4(H) x 15.3(W) x (S)
Weight (gm):

Author Biography

Laura Thompson is the award-winning author of Life in a Cold Climate: A Biography of Nancy Mitford; Agatha Christie: An English Mystery and A Different Class of Murder: the Story of Lord Lucan.

Reviews

Heiress is one of those words, like penthouse or superyacht, that invite schadenfreude. As Laura Thompson's excellent book makes clear, there is nothing more satisfying to the popular imagination than a poor little rich girl... [A] wonderfully entertaining book' * Sunday Times *
'[A] deeply empathetic study of heiresses through the ages' * The Times *
Exquisite and gossipy... Thompson, a gifted storyteller, obviously delighted in the writing of this book' * TLS *
Hugely entertaining... Thompson writes about her subjects' psyches with wit and insight' * Sunday Business Post *
'Heiresses is a glorious book, endlessly entertaining and about much more than its stated subject. Through the lens of these very rich girls, we are given an opera-box view of money and class, women and men, crime and punishment. Thompson is a fabulous writer' -- Caroline O'Donoghue
'I always enjoy Thompson's books and this sounds fabulous' * The Bookseller *
'[A] fluent, readable study of wealthy women' * Daily Telegraph *
With plenty of gossip, scandal and witty insights on every page, Heiresses is undoubtedly an entertaining read from start to finish, telling stories that range from sad and heartbreaking to outrageous, frustrating and spectacularly glamorous... This is an intelligent, fascinating and infinitely readable book that's been structured well and offers such a wealth of brilliant material (not to mention an entirely new reading list to explore afterwards) that even the most casual of readers will not fail to be captivated by the lives of the Million Dollar Babies' * CultureFly *
Absorbing study of women burdened by prodigious inheritances... Thompson presents a gossip-strewn survey of rich women with time on their hands' * Financial Times *
'An entertaining introduction to the adventures of independently wealthy women in Britain over the past four centuries' * BBC History Magazine *
'A fascinating account of the lives of women born filthy rich' * Best magazine *
'An entertaining book - who doesn't love a tale of excess, and there are plenty here!' * This England *
'Laura Thompson is no stranger to the beau monde [...] Heiresses announces itself as exploring the phenomenon of the heiress from the 17th to the 21st centuries' * The Oldie *
'Skillfully evoking disparate social milieus and generational divides, Thompson packs the narrative full of juicy gossip without resorting to caricature. Readers will be enthralled' * Publishers Weekly *
Heiresses: The Lives of the Million Dollar Babies
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