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Old 11-21-2008, 09:21 AM
Royal Highness
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Chicago, United States
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Whoever on here posted about A Season of Splendor: The Court of Mrs. Astor in Gilded Age New York, was wonderful!!!!!!!!!! Thank you! I just finished reading, and it was one of the best, most thorough books on NY high society during that time.

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Old 01-04-2009, 12:47 AM
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Location: Brisbane, Australia
Posts: 141
I love to read about high society - pretty well anywhere! I found a Vanderbilt genealogy blog the other day. I must put it in the links section.

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Old 04-12-2009, 09:20 AM
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High Society: The History of America's Upper Class
Nick Foulkes, 2009

The Classicist: The History of America's Upper Class

"Interestingly enough it took a foreigner - namely super-stylish British historian, author, and journalist Nick Foulkes - to realize that for most people the appeal of society swells is purely decorative. What sets his recently published book - High Society: The History of America's Upper Class - apart from the usual social history is the amazing array of archival photographs. Beginning with the early 17th century, Foulkes focuses on the famous families - the Vanderbilts, Fricks, Morgans, and Astors among them - who came to embody the American aristocracy. He also plots the social trajectory all the way to the present day, and heiresses such as the famed Miller Sisters, aka Pia Getty, Princess Alexandra von Furstenberg and Princess Marie Chantal of Greece, pictured on the book's cover, above."
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Old 09-22-2009, 09:41 AM
Join Date: May 2009
Location: N/A, United Kingdom
Posts: 377

i second that...... very good book, i have it myself.
me and my friend mafan was discussing the book the other day funny enough !!
its a pity that the tv series has never been released on video or dvd. i would love to watch it again......
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Old 02-02-2010, 05:38 AM
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Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: --, Czech Republic
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Books by Ernest Kolowrat

Ernest Kolowrat comes from Czech nobility, but after 1948 he had to move to another country. In his three book (donť know the titles in English) he describe his memoires, how it was hard to start living in USA,...
It is really interesting and shocking story... Anyone read any of this three books??
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Old 02-06-2010, 11:56 AM
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: san juan, United States
Posts: 358
Books about the spanish aristrocracy:

Title: Nobleza Obliga
Author: Ricardo Mateos Sainz de Medrano
Publisher: Editorial La Esfera
[La Esfera de los Libros]

Author: Marta Rivera de la Cruz
Publisher: Aguilar 2004

Marta Rivera de la Cruz_
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Old 08-18-2010, 06:14 AM
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"My Last Duchess" by Daisy Godwin 2010

"My Last Duchess"
by Daisy Godwin

Cash for titles: The Billion-dollar ladies | Mail Online

Publication Date : 19/08/2010

ISBN: 9780755348060


For daughters of the new American billionaires of the 19th century, it was the ultimate deal: marriage to a cash-strapped British aristocrat in return for a title and social status. But money didn’t always buy them happiness, says Daisy Goodwin.

In 1895 when Consuelo Vanderbilt, the daughter of the American billionaire Willie Vanderbilt, married Sunny, Duke of Marlborough, in New York, the wedding was the media event of the year; the closest modern equivalent would be Prince Harry marrying Paris Hilton. Three hundred policemen were employed outside the church to hold back the thousands of onlookers desperate to catch a glimpse of the glamorous bride in the dress with the five-yard train.

Details of the wedding were reported on the front page of The New York Times, and Vogue devoted pages to the bride’s trousseau, describing everything down to the white brocade corset, which had gold clasps studded with diamonds. Consuelo carried orchids which had been grown in the greenhouses of Blenheim Palace and shipped over to New York in a specially refrigerated chamber, because Marlborough brides always carried flowers from Blenheim. The presents were displayed for the public, as they are at royal weddings today, and the queue to admire the gifts – which included a string of pearls once owned by Catherine the Great – stretched halfway down Fifth Avenue.

The second half of the 19th century was the time when the American billionaire was created – men like Cornelius Vanderbilt, Consuelo’s great-grandfather, who made a fortune out of railways; Andrew Carnegie, whose empire was built on steel, and Isaac Singer, who built the first commercially successful sewing machine. These men were rolling in ready money, unlike the English aristocracy, who were land rich but cash poor and whose income dwindled every year thanks to the agricultural depression and the new death duties.

Consuelo was the most famous of the ‘dollar princesses’ – the fabulously rich daughters of these billionaires who came to England looking for the one thing they couldn’t buy at home: a title. In 1895 alone, nine American heiresses married members of the English aristocracy, and by the end of the century a quarter of the House of Lords had a transatlantic connection.

Even Princess Diana had an American great-grandmother. It was a straightforward economic exchange: American girls got to be aristocrats and impoverished peers got the money to mend their stately homes. Mary Leiter, who married Lord Curzon, had a dowry of £1.5 million as the daughter of a wealthy department store owner from Chicago – that’s about £50 million in today’s money. And Consuelo’s dowry was double that.

Transatlantic matches became so much the rage among the newly rich that a whole industry sprang up to serve their needs, including professional matchmakers and magazines. Typically, the American heiress would start by consulting the quarterly publication The Titled American: a list of American ladies who have married foreigners of rank.

This contained a register of all the eligible titled bachelors still on the market, with a handy description of their age, accomplishments and prospects – for example: The Marquess of Winchester is the fifteenth Marquess and Premier Marquess in the Peerage of Great Britain. He is also the Hereditary Bearer of the Cap of Maintenance. The entailed estates amount to 4,700 acres, yielding an income of $22,000. He is 32 years of age, and a captain of the Coldstream Guards.
Family seat: Amport House, Hampshire From The Titled American No 2 March 1890.

This 19th-century version of was in great demand in the Fifth Avenue and Newport mansions where these American heiresses lived. Many came from families whose wealth was very recent, and who were desperate to stand out in a famously snobbish New York society where mere money was no guarantee of acceptance. The upper echelon, known famously as The Four Hundred, was based on the number of people who could fit comfortably into Mrs Astor’s ballroom – Mrs Astor being the most powerful woman in New York society on account of both her breeding and her fabulous wealth.
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Old 09-05-2010, 01:51 AM
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: san juan, United States
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"El fin de una era"
Autora: Aline, condesa de romanones
Editorial: Ediciones B
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Old 11-09-2010, 04:13 AM
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Location: san juan, United States
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Title: "Wait for Me!"
Deborah Mitford, Duchess of Devonshire
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Old 11-09-2010, 04:59 AM
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I have bought those as well, frank! Together with Charlotte Mosley's book with letters between the duchess and Diana Mosley. I can also recommend 'The Pursuit of Laughter', with several articles written by Diana (and I belioeve again editted by her daughter-in-law, Charlotte).

I bought Mary Lovell's book about all the Mitford sisters this summer and it is a fascinating family.
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Old 12-04-2010, 10:52 AM
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"Wait for Me!", Deborah Mitford, Duchess of Devonshire (2010)

The Daily Beast: Duchess of Devonshire

"Wait for Me!", Deborah Mitford, Duchess of Devonshire (2010)

-> front cover

In her new memoir and a collection of letters, the last Mitford sister, the Duchess of Devonshire, talks about chickens, her famous siblings, and having tea with Hitler.

On a trip to America for the inauguration of President Kennedy, Deborah (Debo) Mitford, the youngest of the infamous, outrageous, glamorous Mitford sisters and the then-Duchess of Devonshire, described an encounter with the newly appointed president: “Jack asked me what I do all day. Stumped.” What does a duchess do all day? Well, shoot pheasants, for starters. Back home, at Chatsworth, the 400-year-old seat of the Devonshire clan, Debo was struck by the contrast to America: “V odd to be back here, shooting cock pheasants out of the car.” Later that year, when invited back to Washington, she almost backed out, preferring to stick to familiar pursuits: “I’ve got cold feet now & heartily wish I was staying here pulling triggers,” she wrote to her great friend, the travel writer Patrick Leigh Fermor.

The duchess’ interests extend beyond her chickens, but she was not exactly cultivated for wide-ranging intellectual endeavors. As the sixth girl, her birth was, she says, “a deeply disappointing event” to her parents. “No one, except Nanny, looked at me till I was three months old,” writes Debo, but even Nanny Blor did not indulge her; during Debo’s childhood ups and downs “Nanny sat on any ups.” The girls were educated at first by their mother and then by a series of governesses, one of whom “encouraged in us the difficult art of shoplifting,” another who “was not interested in education but loved playing cards.”

The main work of the duchess’ life after her marriage was not chickens but Chatsworth. After her husband, Andrew, inherited the dukedom in 1950, Debo found herself in charge of seven houses in short order. “No wonder,” she writes, “I put down ‘Housewife’ when filling in a form that demanded my occupation; I was wife to all of them.”
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Old 12-05-2010, 02:36 PM
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: not far from Zurich, Switzerland
Posts: 649
I am just discovering this thread about books....which I will study further with some more time. At the moment I am reading: Esther Gräfin von Schwerin "Kormorane, Brombeerranken" - very lovely and interesting... thank you.
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Old 01-12-2011, 04:44 PM
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: san juan, United States
Posts: 358
"Los palacios de la castellana"
Author: Ignacio gonzalez varas
editorial turner, Spain
Turner - Colecciones - Arte y Fotografía - Los palacios de la Castellana
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Old 01-12-2011, 06:39 PM
nascarlucy's Avatar
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Location: Central Florida Area, United States
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Has a royal ever written a book about themselves without assistance from others? This would be interesting reading.

I find it very sad that many of these individuals want their letters or personal diaries destroyed upon their death. I don't think they have deep dark secrets that they are keeping. Perhaps some of what they may have said is embarrasing to them or might be viewed in a way that wasn't intended but I would think that they would go through their correspondence and then leave letters or parts of their diary that were not controversial. A lot of these documents are historical in nature and perhaps give insight into the time period when they were written.

My grandmother left some letters that she and my grandfather exchanged during their courtship period (early 1920's). She didn't want them to be destroyed and really didn't care if others outside the family read them. Some of the letters my mother and I were quite touched by (we never realized how much a romantic my grandfather was). It gave an insight into the time period the letters were written. Some pictures we have never seen were enclosed in the letters. We would have very sad if she had told us upon her death to destroy or burn these letters.
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Old 06-14-2011, 09:37 PM
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Matawan, United States
Posts: 89
I was extatic when I found a copy of Lady Airlie's postumously published memoirs "Thatched with Gold" about two years ago. Mabel Ogilvy, Countess of Airlie (Lady Airlie) has been quoted in many books and her observations are vital for any book on that time in the British Royal family (1902 to 1953; her time in waiting to Queen Mary). Her early life is interesting as well, including her husband who was unquestionably the love of her life. She may have over romanticized him as he was kia during the Boer War and she was made a widow at about thirty or forty.
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Old 12-19-2011, 04:30 PM
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Could somebody recommend any new books about modern british nobilty or a specific person or family?
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Old 05-20-2013, 03:14 PM
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Location: Glasgow, United Kingdom
Posts: 97
Nobility at Versailles

Can anyone recommend any good books on the nobility and court life at Versailles ? X
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Old 05-20-2013, 03:45 PM
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You could read the book written by the Duc de Saint-Simon; that's first hand.
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Old 09-24-2013, 10:27 AM
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Leitrim, Ireland
Posts: 634
Darling Monster

Not strictly a "royal" book per se but she (Lady Diana Cooper) interacted frequently with the royals.

It is definately on my Christmas list. !

'Princess Margaret was like an edible little tart': She knew everyone ¿ from Churchill to the Royals. And society beauty Diana Cooper's letters are a riot of indiscretion | Mail Online

Darling Monster: The Letters of Lady Diana Cooper to her Son John Julius Norwich 1939-1952: Diana Cooper, Viscount John Julius Norwich: Books
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Old 01-05-2014, 07:58 AM
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Location: Glasgow, United Kingdom
Posts: 97
French Nobility

Can anyone recommend any books on the history of the French nobility ? From the start of Louis XIV at Versailles onwards if possible X

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