The Glitter and the Gold
By Consuelo Vanderbilt Balsan
For fans of Downton Abbey, this is the riveting real-life story of the Vanderbilt heiress who married the Duke of Marlborough in 1895. A fascinating insight into upstairs-downstairs life and the highest circles of Edwardian aristocracy.
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 fulfil 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 9th 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 V11 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.
Consuelo Vanderbilt Balsan was born in 1877 and was a member of the prominent American Vanderbilt family. She became the Duchess of Marlborough on her marriage to the ninth Duke of Marlborough in 1895. She died in 1964.
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- Publication date:
12 Apr 2012
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Wonderfully evocative [...] now reissued in an elegant new edition' — Country Life