Consuelo and Alva: Love, Power and Suffrage in the Gilded Age by Amanda Mackenzie Stuart - review by Jane Ridley

Jane Ridley

Husband Hunting

Consuelo and Alva: Love, Power and Suffrage in the Gilded Age

By

HarperCollins 552pp £20 order from our bookshop
 

Consuelo Vanderbilt was the most glamorous of the American heiresses to come to England and marry a duke, but for her the fairy tale ended in divorce and disillusion. Amanda Mackenzie Stuart has written a joint biography of Consuelo and her mother Alva which is a fascinating study of the super-rich of the Gilded Age.

Consuelo’s marriage to the Duke of Marlborough was a brilliantly engineered coup of social climbing. It was all the work of her mother. Alva was the daughter of a slave-owning Southern businessman who lost his fortune after the Civil War. Being brought up with slaves stamped her character for life;

Sign Up to our newsletter

Receive free articles, highlights from the archive, news, details of prizes, and much more.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter