February 17, 2012

Lily, Duchess of Marlborough (1854-1909) A Portrait with Husbands by Sally E. Svenson

         This is the biography of (born) Lily Price from her childhood, through her three marriages, and through to her death.  Lily was originally from Troy, New York but spent much of youth in Washington DC.  She married Louis Hamersley and lived in New York City making her way up through high society.  He left her a young, wealthy widow at the age of 28.  In what seemed like a marriage of convenience and arrangement for both parties Lily married the eighth Duke of Marlborough, becoming a Duchess and giving her a foot in the English aristocratic door.  The marriage benefited the Duke due to her money, though it wasn’t so easy to access as there were years of court battles as to her inheritance from her first husband.  It is believed they did grow very fond of eachother, despite the fact that the Duke’s past kept Lily from the level in London society she sought after.  Not long after he also left her a widow, but once again in a not too distant future Lily married for a third time.  Her final marriage to Lord William de la Poer Beresford finally granted her a son.  But as with the others, Lord Beresford also left Lily a widow after several years of marriage.
                The book details much of Lily’s circumstances from prior to birth and beyond her passing.  There is a lot of information concerning her surroundings, but more particularly on her relationships with her husbands and those who became important roles in her life.  Some of these included her sister-in-law Jennie Churchill and her beloved nephew Winston Churchill.  There is also much discussion of her estates both in America and England.
                This is an incredibly well written, extensive research paper.  If you want to know detailed family tree lines and accurate accounts of moneys and estates that passed by and through the Duchess than this is the book for you.  For me, on the other hand, it was incredibly hard to read.  I expected more of a novel and was overwhelmed by facts and details that was just too hard to keep up with.  It did give me a feel for the English aristocracy in the late nineteenth century, but this book just wasn’t my cup of tea.
2 stars
I received a copy of this book for the purpose of review.
post signature

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for joining our discussion of this book!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...