adbl_ms_membershipImage_includedwith_altText_B076FLV3HT
adbl_ms_membershipImage_includedwith_altText_B076FLV3HT

1 audiobook of your choice.
Stream or download thousands of included titles.
$14.95 a month after 30 day trial. Cancel anytime.
Buy for $34.95

Buy for $34.95

Pay using card ending in
By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Taxes where applicable.

Publisher's Summary

The three dazzlingly beautiful, wildly rich Wyndham sisters, part of the 400 families that made up Britain's ruling class, at the center of cultural and political life in late-Victorian/Edwardian Britain. Here are their complex, idiosyncratic lives; their opulent, privileged world; their romantic, roiling age. 

They were confidantes to British prime ministers, poets, writers, and artists, their lives entwined with the most celebrated and scandalous figures of the day, from Oscar Wilde to Henry James. They were the lovers of great men - or men of great prominence...

Mary Wyndham, wilder than her wild brothers; lover of Wilfrid Blunt, confidante of Prime Minister Arthur Balfour (the Balfour Declaration); married to Hugo, Lord Elcho; later the Countess of Wemyss...

Madeline Adeane, the quietest and happiest of the three...

And Pamela, spoiled, beautiful; of the three, possesser of the true talent; wife of the foreign secretary Edward Grey (later Viscount Grey), who took Britain into the First World War. 

They lived in a world of luxurious excess, a world of splendor at 44 Belgrave Square and later at the even more vast Clouds, the exquisite Wiltshire house on 4,000 acres, the "house of the age", designed in 1876 by the visionary architect Philip Webb - the model for Henry James' The Spoils of Poynton.

They were bred with the pride of the Plantagenets and raised with a fierce belief that their family was exceptional. They avoided the norm at all costs and led the way to a blending of aristocracy and art. Their group came to be called The Souls, whose members from 1885 to the 1920s included the most distinguished politicians, artists, and thinkers of their time.

In Those Wild Wyndhams, Claudia Renton gives us a dazzling portrait of one of England's grandest, noblest families. Renton captures, with nuance and depth, their complex wrangling between head and heart and the tragedy at the center of all their lives as the privilege and bliss of the Victorian age gave way to the Edwardian era, the Great War, and the passing of an opulent world.

©2018 Claudia Renton (P)2018 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

"[An] accomplished literary debut, a spirited and captivating history of the lives and loves of aristocrats in Victorian/Edwardian Britain...a richly detailed tapestry featuring the alluring Wyndham sisters... A sparkling family portrait and riveting history." (Kirkus)

"Three high-society sisters who were part of the British cultural and political elite in the late 19th and early 20th centuries...a portrait of the aristocratic intelligentsia in Victorian and Edwardian England. This tale of the witty, sparkling privileged set may appeal most to fans of Downton Abbey." (Publishers Weekly)

"It is many years since I have been waiting for someone to fill Nancy Mitford's shoes as a U-biographer, but Claudia Renton has done it with her lively, spirited story of the three beautiful Wyndham sisters and the privileged world in which they lived. Her book elegantly combines romance and history, set against the ultimately doomed and fatal glory of Edwardian England." (Michael Korda, author of Alone)

More from the same

Narrator

What listeners say about Those Wild Wyndhams

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    47
  • 4 Stars
    11
  • 3 Stars
    11
  • 2 Stars
    6
  • 1 Stars
    3
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    49
  • 4 Stars
    15
  • 3 Stars
    3
  • 2 Stars
    4
  • 1 Stars
    1
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    46
  • 4 Stars
    10
  • 3 Stars
    8
  • 2 Stars
    5
  • 1 Stars
    3

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • V
  • 05-09-19

Perfection. Utter Perfection. An absolute gem.

As a rule, I don't usually go for books where the author narrates their own work, because I feel that it's rare that it can be done without the quality suffering to some extent. THIS is that rarity. I can't imagine anyone else doing this enthralling labor of love the justice it deserves. I involuntarily placed my hand over my heart at the poignient last sentence. Bravo! I'm literally about to listen to it another time because I want, no, NEED it to all start over again.

12 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

This Wild Wyndhams...an incisive look at the British ruling class

A 19th century and early 20th century narrative of one of Britain’s most interesting families with their strengths and foibles on full displays. A marvel of research and told in a most entertaining way.

10 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent In Every Respect

The book is a fascinating blend of social history, political history, and art history. Very well written and beautifully narrated, I’ve enjoyed it more then any other audio book I have recently listened to. If I had one critical comment it would be that the title is a little misleading, it sounds as though you’re going to hear about some frivolous and naughty socialites when in fact they only lived somewhat unrthodoxly for their time and were quasi-intellectual bohemians. However, I was not disappointed and the book was so much more interesting than I expected. I can’t recommend it highly enough.

8 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Fascinating but Hard to Follow

If I had more detailed knowledge of British history, I would have enjoyed this more in the recorded version. I feel the need to read the text, which I hope might also have charts showing relationships. I look forward to the pictures in the book.

6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

What a marvelous opportunity missed

There is a lot of story here,and it's interesting to hear the lives of this generation of high born English. But this book runs away in too many directions to be understood by someone who is not drenched in the history of the times. Instead of one main character, there are about 14. Not just the three sisters, but their mother, father, husbands and children are all treated as narrators of the book and its principal subject. It is a lesson in how powerful a single point of view is to a story, as it is impossible to keep track of the many stories going on.
I listened to this book on audible and the narrator's voice was so pleasant that I kept it on until the end, despite of having lost track of the whole impossible story at around chapter 3. The author kept happily spinning out more lovers, more friends, more main characters, until it was impossible to care about any one of them.
It's a shame as there are many marvelous stories here. I would have loved it if the author pulled on one thread, maybe Madeline the mother, and let us see everything through her eyes as an organizing tool. Then, it would have made sense.
The story as is would make sense only to someone who was friends with all these people and knew them well. Too unstructured, too diverse, too many main characters, too unshapely, too unorganized to recommend.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Need pen, paper, guide to English peerage.

This is an interesting textbook. I listen to audio books “on the go” and the complicated political, social, and historical intertwinings are impossible to keep straight unless you have an extensive background in English history. The book is well written and narrated but definitely requires concentration. Irritated I could not return it.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

SLOW START BUT STICK WITH THIS ONE

I had trouble getting into this book at first. I don’t know if it was the narrator or the way the story began. Fortunately I fell asleep and woke up around Chapter 5. THEN the fun began!

This is a well-written story about 3 little known yet amazing female members of minor British aristocracy. Each sister is unique, talented and innovative in her own way. I’m not going to say a lot here. This is a book that will interest each listener in his or her own way. Try it, stick with it and ....ENJOY!

14 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Somewhat worthy

I agree with a lot of the reviews that say it was hard to follow, too many names, too much detailed history, too much of everything except for anything really compelling, unless perhaps you are a Whydham. This book is like that one aunt you have that has compiled your family tree into books in hopes that you will appreciate her efforts. The sisters were somewhat interesting with their early liberal ideas but not 15 hours interesting.

It needs about 4 hours of editing, in fact if you do listen to it I would suggest skipping over the middle 4 hours. I tried to return it but couldn't so slogged through to the end. I enjoyed the first few and last few hours, and only moderately so. Wouldn't recommend for a credit.

The Vanderbilt book, Fortune's Children is a good example of a well written and interesting book. I would rec that over this.

The narration by the author was good though!

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Wild, indeed!

The Wyndham sisters were magnificently captured in their pre-Edwardian undulating bubble by the author. Time and place came to life in her writing and narration of these distinctly engaging yet often times lost sisters was perfect in detail and lifestyle and life-searching moments. I truly enjoyed the author narrating her own scrupulously researched biography of the entire Wyndham family, including their spouses and children’s children. Worth every moment of listening. I hope Renton is researching and writing her next wild family!

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Powerful Women

After having read about these sisters and their families on the periferie of so many other histories and biographies, it is magical to have a whole great read devoted to just them.

5 people found this helpful