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Anne de Courcy on The Husband Hunters: Social Climbing in London and New York

Author and biographer Anne de Courcy is former Chair of the Biographers’ Club, was Woman’s Editor of the Evening News, a columnist and editor on the Evening Standard and a feature writer specialising in historical subjects on the Daily Mail. She has written a number of biographies and social histories, among them the lives of Lord Snowdon and Diana Mosley, both turned into television documentaries, The Viceroy’s Daughters, Margot at War and The Fishing Fleet. She has appeared frequently on television. Her latest book, The Husband Hunters: Social Climbing in London and New York, has been optioned for a feature film. She and her Burmese cat live in London and Gloucestershire.

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The Husband Hunters: Social Climbing in London and New York (W&N, £9.99)
Towards the end of the nineteenth century and for the first few years of the twentieth, a strange invasion took place in Britain. The citadel of power, privilege and breeding in which the titled, land-owning governing class had barricaded itself for so long was breached. The incomers were a group of young women who, fifty years earlier, would have been looked on as the alien denizens of another world - the New World, to be precise. From 1874 - the year that Jennie Jerome, the first known 'Dollar Princess', married Randolph Churchill - to 1905, dozens of young American heiresses married into the British peerage, bringing with them all the fabulous wealth, glamour and sophistication of the Gilded Age.

Anne de Courcy sets the stories of these young women and their families in the context of their times. Based on extensive first-hand research, drawing on diaries, memoirs and letters, this richly entertaining group biography reveals what they thought of their new lives in England - and what England thought of them.