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Book Chat: Non-Fiction

November 23, 2021

The following books are part of a package of non-fiction books I bought without knowing the titles, earlier this year. There were 100 books in the package, 50 fiction and 50 non-fiction, most of which I’d never heard of previously. The following two books, both unusual titles, looked quite interesting to me, but I wasn’t expecting much from them. I was pleasantly surprised.

The Transatlantic Marriage Bureau; Husband Huinting in the Gilded Age:
How American HeiressesConquered The Artistocracy
by Julie Ferry

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In 1895, nine American heiresses travelled across the Atlantic to find titled husbands for themselves. Unofficial marriage brokers, Lady Minnie Padget and the Duchess of Manchester, Consuelo Yzanga, helped with the matches. 1895 was their most successful year.

English men were very happy with this arrangement, as it was a way to sustain their land, houses and all the trappings that go along with the aristocracy. These American girls came from new money, and at home were not considered to be part of the American elite. By agreeing to these arranged marriages, the girls were able to obtain the social prestige they craved.

The stories in this book are about the women, the seasons, parties, money and titles of the arranged marriages of 1891.

The experience of both parties to the marriages, provided a really good insight into the social history of the time. I had never heard of these arranged transatlantic marriages, and loved learning about them. For many, these marriages weren’t what the participants were expecting. The stories showed the priveleged lives behind the scenes, and the way American money helped to ensure the survival of the crumbling mansions of high society families. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Published March 2017 by Aurum Press Ltd. Hardcover 320 pages

London Bridge in America by Travis Elborough
The Tall Story of a Atlantic Crossing

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In 1968 the world’s largest antique went to America. But the big question is, how would a 130 year old bridge be transported 3,000 miles across the ocean. It had been purchased by a multi millionaire oil baron and chainsaw manufacturing king. The next question is why would he want it in the first place and why would he want it to go to the desert in Arizona, a long way from any water.

There are many more questions to be answered and the books answers them all beautifully. I would never have thought that a story about a bridge could be so interesting. The author tells a wonderful story of American-English relations. I found it to be very clever and a delight to read. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I never expected to finds two wonderful books such as these in my parcel of mystery books.

Published February 2013 by Jonathan Cape. Hardcover 288 pages.

Images: Goodreads

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