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To Marry an English Lord

To Marry an English Lord

Ratings:

4.09

(67)
|Views: 1,044|Likes:
Published by Workman Publishing
From the Gilded Age until 1914, more than 100 American heiresses invaded Britannia and swapped dollars for titles--just like Cora Crawley, Countess of Grantham, the first of the Downton Abbey characters Julian Fellowes was inspired to create after reading To Marry An English Lord. Filled with vivid personalities, gossipy anecdotes, grand houses, and a wealth of period details--plus photographs, illustrations, quotes, and the finer points of Victorian and Edwardian etiquette--To Marry An English Lord is social history at its liveliest and most accessible.
From the Gilded Age until 1914, more than 100 American heiresses invaded Britannia and swapped dollars for titles--just like Cora Crawley, Countess of Grantham, the first of the Downton Abbey characters Julian Fellowes was inspired to create after reading To Marry An English Lord. Filled with vivid personalities, gossipy anecdotes, grand houses, and a wealth of period details--plus photographs, illustrations, quotes, and the finer points of Victorian and Edwardian etiquette--To Marry An English Lord is social history at its liveliest and most accessible.

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Publish date: 1989
Added to Scribd: Mar 14, 2012
Copyright:Traditional Copyright: All rights reservedISBN:9780761171980
List Price: $9.99

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12/11/2014

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9780761171980

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catetley reviewed this
Rated 4/5
An interesting look at the social issues and events surrounding the entrance of wealthy Americans into the Victorian Peerage, complete with gossip, economic and political ramifications, and a list of who's who during the era, on both sides of the Atlantic ocean. Enjoyable nonfiction, coming from someone who usually prefers to stick with fiction. I read this in eBook format, on my Kindle, which affected the way the chapters flowed, interrupted by the images and asides. It was slightly distracting, but I would expect the problem to be avoided with a print copy.
meganelise1 reviewed this
Rated 2/5
Interesting information, but dull writing and the format was onerous.
lindap69 reviewed this
Rated 3/5
Good companion while watching Downton Abbey. Lots of photos to enliven a rather dry text.
shojo_a reviewed this
Rated 5/5
One of the slew of books related to Downton Abbey to be released after the show's success, in this case, the book is a re-release of a 1989 non-fiction book, which (much to the publisher's delight)has a cover blurb from Julian Fellows, creator of Downton Abbey himself. To further drive the point home, the cover also bears the words: "An inspiration for the popular Television Series Downton Abbey."

But for all the purported connection the part of the plot most literally inspired by the book - the marriage between American heiress Cora and impoverished peer Lord Grantham - takes place some nineteen years prior to the first episode of the show. The book actually covers the period from about 1871 to 1910, which means that the ends just between the timeline of the show begins.

That said, I'm glad that the Downton Abbey craze lead to this book being republished, because regardless of how relatively tenuous the connection to the show is, it's a fabulous book. The writing is exciting, and not at all dry; the authors are capable of capturing all sorts of interesting personalities, and most of all, it's incredibly comprehensive. I wouldn't be surprised if the book had also inspired numerous historical fiction writers, because it covers every single detail of the time period you'd ever need. The main narrative, which details the trend of American heiresses marrying impoverished English peers for their titles is split up by two-page spreads and inserts giving detailed information on the social mores of the time, the differences between American and British society, biographies of various important people, overviews of the types of heiress hunting swains, and New York fathers, timetables for sojourns in Newport, the staff of an English manor, lists of everything from prerequisites for an American heiresses London campaign to how to keep the Prince happy at a 'Friday to Sunday' house party, and of course, a lot of photographs of gorgeous heiresses and handsome peers.

I thoroughly enjoyed every page of this book. The only bad thing is that it made me want a Downton Abbey prequel...




jenneb_2 reviewed this
Rated 4/5
Lots of fun little tidbits about 'high society' in the 1890s-1910s. So many side notes and illustrations and things! This REALLY makes me want a Downton Abbey prequel, about how Cora came to England and met Lord Grantham and so on. IT WOULD BE SO GOOD!
newsieq reviewed this
Rated 4/5
After reading a book about the Churchill families – including details about the marriage of Winston’s American mother and British father, I picked up this book, which I had bought awhile ago. It was just a perfect follow-up for me – with its short bursts of lively text interspersed with captioned photos and interesting tidbits.Typically, I’m a more linear reader, not prone to go off on tangents while I’m concentrating on a book. But with To Marry an English Lord, I had to change my approach. I first read all the sidebar stories and photo captions in an entire chapter (there were five chapters plus a sixth that was a directory of the American brides) then go back and take on the text in a large bite. It was a fun read and quite enlightening.I especially liked many of the sidebars, including “Their Noble Lordships” (explaining, among other things, the difference between a Duke and the “mere sirs”) and another on the cost of maintaining an old castle/estate (and, therefore, why the Dukes needed infusions of money from their heiress wives). Many of the sidebars were on the social milieu among the 1% in post-Civil-War America. As a fan of Downton Abbey, I found To Marry an English Lord enlightening and interesting and eminently readable.
minne2_1 reviewed this
This book was one of the sources for Downton Abbey. Many interesting stories about American heiresses who married British titled men in the last 1890's to about 1910. The British men sorely needed the cash to keep up the castle maintenance and entertain other dignitaries. Great pictures and good true to life smut.
mt256 reviewed this
Rated 5/5
To Marry an English Lord by Gail MacColl and Carol McD. Wallace is an introspective look into the lives of American heiresses who took over England by marrying into English society during the Victorian and Edwardian age. This book is also the inspiration behind the series, Downton Abbey.I can't begin to praise this book enough. It's not only informative and educational but it's also very entertaining. The authors did a wonderful job putting this book together. It has everything from loads of information to pictures, fashion to gossip, quotes to the inside scoop on what was what during this time period. Duke's and Earl's married American's basically for their money. American and English society were alike in some respects but also very different. The money, the right clothes didn't mean a whole lot until you knew the right people. Prince Edward was a great advocate to the American heiress. If they received his approval the heiress was golden.I'm absolutely fascinated by this time period. This book is a must have for people who want to find out more about this time period. It's well written and very informative. If you're looking for a book to read while you wait for the next season of Downton Abbey, this is the book for you.
beadinggem_1 reviewed this
Rated 5/5
Delightful read about a unique set of American women cutting a swarth 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.
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