Hopefully now the sun is out you are getting a moment to sit outside with a drink in hand and a good book in the other. As book we have just started to read is Heiresses: The Lives of the Million Dollar Babies by Laura Thompson.
Heiresses explores how women inheriting great wealth affected their lives, sadly not necessarily for the better. It begins in the seventeenth century with Mary Davies, who was the reason the Grosvenor family was able to accumulate wealth and own large area of London now known as Mayfair. She was married off at the age of 12 as an item to be bartered and ended up with relatives trying to have her locked away as a lunatic in order to control her wealth. It moves to more modern era heiresses like Barbara Hutton, the Woolworth heiress who married seven times, suffered from anorexia and had to endure the tragedy of the death of her son. The book questions why, with all the money did happiness, in many cases love and freedom not follow?
It also raises the point of how heiresses have been portrayed and treated…as commodities and often trapped by their wealth, being defined by it. Obviously there are exceptions but this book delves into the glittering lives of these women often finding it tarnished by their fortunes.
Heiresses is a wonderful poolside read and is one to pack this Summer. You can read a preview or purchase by clicking the links below.