Sisters of Fortune: America's Caton Sisters at Home and Abroad

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9781451607611: Sisters of Fortune: America's Caton Sisters at Home and Abroad

Perfect for fans of the Emmy Award–winning series Downton Abbey, whose creator, Julian Fellowes, raved that Sisters of Fortune is “absolutely fascinating”—a real-life Jane Austen story, that follows the fabulous Caton sisters, the first American heiresses to take Europe by storm.

Based on intimate and previously unpublished letters written by the sisters, this is a portrait of four lively and fashionable women in early nineteenth century America. Much of it is told in their own voices as they gossip about prominent people of their time, advise family members on political and financial strategy, soothe each other’s sorrows, and rejoice in each other’s triumphs.

Descended from one of the nation’s founding fathers and raised to be educated, independent, and opinionated young women, Marianne, Bess, Louisa, and Emily Caton traveled to England in 1816 and won coveted places at the highest levels of Regency society by virtue of their charm, intelligence, and great beauty. An unusual, remarkable true story of money, love, and life at the top, Sisters of Fortune is a romantic family history and an inside look at the adventures of America’s original blue-blooded girls.

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About the Author:

Jehanne Wake graduated from Oxford University and is the author of the biography Princess Louise, Queen Victoria's Unconventional Daughter.  She lives in London.  Visit her website at www.jehannewake.com.

From Publishers Weekly:

Marianne, Louisa, Bess, and Emily Caton were heiresses of the early 19th century with impeccable American breeding. Three of them sailed to England, married aristocrats, and left a legacy of public success, financial savvy, and an independence worthy of their family's heritage: their grandfather, a wealthy planter, was a signer of the Declaration of Independence. Wake (Princess Louise: Queen Victoria's Unconventional Daughter) details the sisters' formative years with their grandfather Charles Carroll, their early favorable impression in England, and their high-status marriages. Although the sisters were sometimes labeled fortune seekers, Wade proves that their intelligence and diplomacy often improved the positions of their husbands, including Emily, who married a Canadian and eventually returned to Maryland. In between descriptions of parties in Regency England and post-Restoration France and intimate pre-Victorian royal relationships, the Catons' deep interest in financial ventures, improving acceptance of Catholicism, their founding of orphanages, and their intense familial relationships support Wake's assertion that these remarkable women successfully negotiated unpopular issues that might have ruined lesser women. In Wake's hands, the sisters still dazzle, blending continental influences with their enviable but heartbreaking adventures in England and France. 16 pages of color and 16 pages of b&w photos; 2 maps. (Apr.)
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