This audiobook is read by the author.
New York Times best-selling author Laura Thompson returns with Heiresses, a fascinating look at the lives of heiresses throughout history and the often tragic truth beneath the gilded surface.
Heiresses: Surely they are among the luckiest women on earth. Are they not to be envied, with their private jets and Chanel wardrobes and endless funds? Yet all too often those gilded lives have been beset with trauma and despair. Before the 20th century a wife’s inheritance was the property of her husband, making her vulnerable to kidnap, forced marriages, even confinement in an asylum. And in modern times, heiresses fell victim to fortune-hunters who squandered their millions.
Heiresses tells the stories of these women: Mary Davies, who inherited London’s most valuable real estate and was bartered from the age of 12; Consuelo Vanderbilt, the original American “Dollar Heiress”, forced into a loveless marriage; Barbara Hutton, the Woolworth heiress who married seven times and died almost penniless; Patty Hearst, heiress to a newspaper fortune who was arrested for terrorism. However, there are also stories of achievement: Angela Burdett-Coutts, who became one of the greatest philanthropists of Victorian England; Nancy Cunard, who lived off her mother’s fortune and became a pioneer of the civil rights movement; Daisy Fellowes, elegant linchpin of interwar high society and noted fashion editor.
Heiresses is about the lives of the rich, who – as F. Scott Fitzgerald said – are “different”. But it is also a bigger story about how all women fought their way to equality, and sometimes even found autonomy and fulfilment.
A Macmillan Audio production from St. Martin’s Press.
Talk about fascinating on so many levels. From an outsider looking in, I never realized the danger some of these women experienced. I mean…you see the riches but you don’t see the scary side of the wealth. And this book covers so many heiresses over several centuries. These ladies had so many advantages, but the dangers they faced because of these advantages really were terrifying.
The narrator, who is also the author, Laura Thompson is superb. It is always so much better when the author is able to read their own work. Now, I will say, there were places that different words were used, or rather a different language. These were hard to determine or understand. It only happened occasionally. But it did make me pause and try to figure it out. Also, the money used in many instances was in euros, it’s hard to convert that to dollars when driving down the road…just a little hiccup if you decide to listen to this book.
This book captivated me from start to finish. Life is not all a bed of roses, no matter how much money you have!
Need a unique take on being an heiress…THIS IS IT! Grab your copy today!
I received this novel from the publisher for a honest review.