- May 26 & 27 - All libraries CLOSED for Memorial Day
During the ‘”Gilded Age”, the historical period from mid nineteenth to early twentieth century, many daughters of wealthy American families travelled to Europe, seeking a husband with a title. Their money often saved their noble in-law from financial ruin. Such stories have been the subject of novels, movies and television programs including the recent Downton Abbey.
Daisy Goodwin’s novel The American Heiress tells the story of Cora Cash wife of Ivo, Duke of Wareham and her introduction to the social scene of English nobility, with its ingrained and unstated manners and traditions. Daisy Goodwin’s model for Cora Cash was Consuelo Vanderbilt who became the Duchess of Marlborough.
You can read more about Consuelo in her autobiography, The Glitter and the Gold and in Consuelo: Portrait of an American Heiress by James Brough. Consuelo and other luminaries of her time also feature in J.P. Morrissey’s mystery novel A Weekend at Blenheim.
You can read more about the history of Highclere Castle, the setting for Downtown Abbey in Lady Almina and the Real Downton Abbey : the Lost Legacy of Highclere Castle by the Countess of Carnarvon.