'Gilded Prostitution': Status, Money and Transatlantic Marriages, 1870-1914

1st Edition

Maureen E. Montgomery

Routledge
Published April 10, 2014
Reference
ISBN 9780415752596 - CAT# Y162465
Series: Routledge Library Editions: Women's History

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Summary

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.

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