ABSTRACT

This book examines the marriages of British peers to American women within the context of the opening up of London and New York society and the growing competitiveness for high social status. In London, American women were often blamed for the growing hedonism and materialism of smart society and for poaching in the marriage market. They were invariably described as frivolous, vain and calculating – a description which points to the simmering anti-American sentiment in Britain. It was even suggested that titled Americans were having a detrimental effect on the British peerage because of their failure to produce male heirs.

A brilliant analysis of the reasons why American women were viewed pejoratively not only in terms of anti-American feeling and the social transformation of the British upper class, but also the threat of women who did not appear to conform to aristocratic notions of a peeress’s duties as a wife and mother.

Originally published in 1989, this book has unique appendices listing details of peer marriages in this 1870-1914 period.

chapter |13 pages

Introduction

part Part One|11 pages

The Expatriate Tradition

part Part Two|39 pages

The American Leisure Class

part Part Three|40 pages

Americans in London Society

chapter |3 pages

Introduction to Part Three

chapter 4|13 pages

American invasion or aristocratic embrace?

The entry of Americans into London's high society after 1870

chapter 5|23 pages

The London marriage market

part Part Four|75 pages

‘Gilded Prostitution': Money and Marriage

part Part Five|58 pages

Titled Americans