The Titled Americans: Three American Sisters and the British Aristocratic World Into Which They Married

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9780871139245: The Titled Americans: Three American Sisters and the British Aristocratic World Into Which They Married

The Titled Americans is a family saga spanning three generations, chronicling the glamorous lives of Leonard Jerome, his daughters, and their children. Raven-haired Jennie ("the beautiful') married Randolph Churchill, younger son of the Duke of Marlborough and was Winston's mother. Dreamy, blonde Clara ("the good") was romanced by the dashing Moreton Frewen, a penniless younger son who unsuccessfully but relentlessly tried to parlay his immense charm into a fortune even though, one after the other, all his speculations failed, while quiet Leonie ("the witty") married into the Leslies, a distinguished Irish family who were disappointed by their son's bride. Although full of princely lovers, balls, and diamond broaches, the story's heart is the intensely supportive and laughter-filled relationship between the sisters. Waves of grave financial hardship afflicted them all, but they always rallied to rescue one another. Beginning in 1840s America and ending in the middle of World War II when Britain was under the leadership of Jennie's son, Winston Churchill, The Titled Americans is an epic story of family and fortune encompassing both the apogee and the twilight of the British Empire.

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About the Author :

Elisabeth Kehoe took her doctorate in history at the School of Advanced Study, University of London. This is her first book.

From Publishers Weekly :

Daughters of a wealthy Wall Street speculator and his heiress wife, all three Jerome sisters—Clara, Jennie and Leonie—married titled English husbands, setting a trend for upper-crust Anglo-American liaisons at a time when Britain's landed gentry were in dire need of cash. Jennie married first, in 1873, to Lord Randolph Churchill, in spite of opposition from his father, the Duke of Marlborough. Jennie became the best known of the sisters, not only as the mother of Sir Winston Churchill, but as a formidable personality in her own right. The more vapid Clara married the dashing Moreton Frewen, whose lack of business acumen brought him the nickname "Mortal Ruin." The youngest sister, Leonie, married Jack Leslie, son of one of the largest landowning families in Ireland. But neither Clara nor Leonie rivaled the beautiful and witty Jennie, who captivated Victorian and Edwardian high society. Although Kehoe devotes equal attention to all three sisters—their marriages, affairs and lifelong solidarity as outsiders in a world they didn't always understand—Jennie's magnetic charms dominate the narrative. Kehoe's readable book, her first, perfectly captures the decadence of the sisters' privileged world in its historical context of a British Empire just past its peak, the struggle for Irish Home Rule and the impact of WWI. 16 pages of color and b&w illus. not seen by PW.
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