Regular price: $27.99

Free with 30-day trial
Membership details Membership details
  • A 30-day trial plus your first audiobook, free
  • 1 credit/month after trial – good for any book, any price
  • Easy exchanges – swap any book you don’t love
  • Keep your audiobooks, even if you cancel
  • After your trial, Audible is just $14.95/month
OR
In Cart

Publisher's Summary

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

Critic Reviews

"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)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 3.7 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    20
  • 4 Stars
    15
  • 3 Stars
    20
  • 2 Stars
    9
  • 1 Stars
    1

Performance

  • 3.5 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    17
  • 4 Stars
    9
  • 3 Stars
    18
  • 2 Stars
    4
  • 1 Stars
    7

Story

  • 3.9 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    24
  • 4 Stars
    9
  • 3 Stars
    15
  • 2 Stars
    7
  • 1 Stars
    1
Sort by:
  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Entertaining w/ very distracting mispronunciation

What made the experience of listening to The Glitter and the Gold the most enjoyable?

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.

Would you be willing to try another one of Coleen Marlo’s performances?

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!

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Nice story, haughty-sounding narrator

Consuelo was a gem. Coleen, not so much. Insights on the Victorian/Edwardian eras as well as the 2 world wars from a wealthy philanthropic woman's perspective.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Vintage name dropping

What disappointed you about The Glitter and the Gold?

I was hoping for some insight into her life and times. But it's just a litany of name dropping. I guess she could't afford to offend any of the illustrious people she knew during her long life. But I would have loved a little juicy vintage gossip about some of them.

What three words best describe Coleen Marlo’s performance?

a little stilted

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Facinating Story- Terrible reading

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.

5 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Mary
  • Washington, DC, United States
  • 03-18-13

Not goldl

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.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

WHAT!?!?

I should have heeded the other reviews but I was thinking "No one can mess up a story which is basically a true-life Cinderella story gone awry." WRONG!!!!

Yeah, we can Google or Wikipedia all we need to know about one the more famous Vanderbilts but it's really better to get it from the actual "horse's mouth". This account is rather lightweight and obviously fluffed up. And this is before Chapter One starts! There is something not quite credible in presenting this book as being written by Consuelo Vanderbilt. Or ANY Vanderbilt except journalist Anderson Cooper or his mother fashion designer/entrepreneur, Gloria Vanderbilt, What really sinks this book is the horrible narration. Coleen Marlo sounds as if she's underwater with bubbles rapidly escaping her mouth. Her pronunciation is deplorable!

Consuelo (or whomever really wrote this book) doesn't have enough sense to see that there is nothing cute in bragging about owning slaves. She then tries to make us feel bad because her family lost their fortune after the Civil War, resulting in having to move to Paris. Really? Connie, let me enlighten you on how MY ancestors fared after that war. The closest we got to anything European was share-cropping in Paris, TENNESSEE or getting lynched in Rome, GEORGIA while YOUR folks romped at the Tuileries! Gimme a break, Girlfriend!

Keep your money or credit!

8 of 14 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

not what I expected

Not what I was anticipating. I was expecting a detailed story of life in the time period. but instead, it is more lists of guests at parties. with occasional mentions of charity work. the writer (Consuelo) jumps all over the timeline. say chapter begins in 1940, she will then back track to a story about someone she met in the 1920s. She also includes a lot of French. but she rarely translate the French. so I have no idea what the photographer said to Churchill, or what a guest said to a woman that could be considered rude. What is annoying to me is that she buys expensive properties with little explanation and there is little explanation on where the money is coming from. is the money all from her dad?? or did she have her own income?? I have no idea. I don't think I would recommend this memoir.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Narration is awful.

What did you like best about The Glitter and the Gold? What did you like least?

It's too bad that the narrator's voice was affected and pretentious. I really wonder if Consuelo Vanderbilt spoke like that. The story is interesting from her perspective, but I had to drop the book after 3 hours, because I could not stand the reader's presentation.

Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Coleen Marlo?

Someone with a less pretentious speaking style.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Fascinating story, poorly narrated

The story is terrific for the view into British and American society of the period. Narration, however, is both pretentious in tone, and riddled with weird mispronunciations of English and foreign words.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Marian

Any Downton Abbey fan will love this book. Wish book went to the of her life. End's to abruptly.