Consuelo Vanderbilt was young, beautiful and the heir to a vast family fortune. She was also deeply in love with an American suitor when her mother chose instead for her to fulfill her social ambitions and marry an English Duke. Leaving her life in America, she came to England as the Duchess of Marlborough in 1895 and took up residence in her new home: Blenheim Palace.
The ninth Duchess gives unique first-hand insight into life at the very pinnacle of English society in the Edwardian era. An unsnobbish, but often amused observer of the intricate hierarchy both upstairs and downstairs at Blenheim Palace, she is also a revealing witness to the glittering balls, huge weekend parties, and major state occasions she attended or hosted. Here are her encounters with every important figure of the day - from Queen Victoria, Edward VII, and Queen Alexandra to Tsar Nicholas, Prince Metternich, and the young Winston Churchill.
This intimate, richly enjoyable memoir is a wonderfully revealing portrait of a golden age.
©1953 Consuelo Vanderbilt Balsan (P)2012 Tantor
"A woman of poise, beauty, and charm looks back on her life at the very center of the most opulent and aristocratic society of three countries, the United States, Britain, and France... and emerges... a woman of courage, public spirit, refinement, and surprisingly democratic convictions." (The New York Times)
“He that loves a book will never want a faithful friend, a wholesome counselor, a cheerful companion, an effectual comforter."
I looked forward to the history of this story, but the narrator did a terrible job! It was read too fast, and with little or no emotion so there was no way to discern the feeling of the Dutchess.
Very enjoyable, especially if you are familiar with the public figures of the Edwardian period. Wonderful descriptions of the upper class life style of the time.
Not unless I was very eager to listen to the book, which in this case, I was. She was obviously trying to affect a "posh" American accent and rightly so. However, her constant mispronunciations in her reading made me gnash my teeth!
I expected a more detailed and insightful account by CV of her life as a member of the British nobility. I was disappointed. She offered little.
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