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American history

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

Jehanne Wake.
Publisher Touchstone  
Format hardcover
Product Dimensions 9.25 x 6.25 x 1.2 inches
ISBN 9781451607611
Pages/Publication Date 393/2011
Daedalus Item Code 23939
This item is not available.
As gripping as any great historical novel, this is the true story of Marianne, Bess, Louisa, and Emily Caton, the exuberant American sisters who enthralled English Regency society. Descended from prominent first settlers of Maryland and brought up by their wealthy grandfather Charles Carroll of Carrollton, the only Catholic signer of the Declaration of Independence, the sisters were expected to "marry a plantation." Instead, their grandfather made sure that they were well educated, raising four beautiful and charming young women who were unusually independent, intelligent, fascinated by politics, clever with money, and very romantic. Arriving in Britain, the Caton sisters swept into the set of the Duke of Wellington and went on to forge their own destinies in the face of intense prejudice against Americans and Catholics. After capturing the heart of the Duke of Wellington, who could never marry her, Marianne instead wed his brother Richard, Marquess Wellesley, Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, and taking a prominent place as a Catholic Yankee among the Protestant Anglo-Irish. Emily married Scots-Canadian John McTavish, heir to Montreal's North West Company, and stayed home in Maryland, where she managed the family's estates and wealth. Louisa became Duchess of Leeds and a member of Queen Victoria's court, while Bess made a fortune speculating in the stock market. Based on the sisters' intimate, unpublished letters, Sisters of Fortune is a portrait of four lively and opinionated women, much of it told in their own voices as they gossip about prominent people of the time, advise family members on political and financial strategy, soothe each other's sorrows, and rejoice in each other's triumphs. At the same time, it is a meticulously researched history of Anglo-American relations and the political, financial, and social world of the 19th century.

"The story of the Caton sisters sounds like the plot of an Edwardian novel by Henry James or Edith Wharton a rare pleasure."Sunday Times (London)

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