The Women of Rothschild: The Untold Story of the World’s Most Famous Dynasty by Natalie Livingstone - review by Anne Sebba

Anne Sebba

Matriarchs & Money

The Women of Rothschild: The Untold Story of the World’s Most Famous Dynasty

By

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Within a year of Amschel Mayer Rothschild’s wife, Eva, dying in 1848, the childless septuagenarian announced at a family dinner that he intended to remarry and that his bride would be Julie, his eighteen-year-old great-niece. As Natalie Livingstone comments in this absorbing portrait of several generations of Rothschild women, the fact that the old man, one of five sons of the Frankfurt-born founder of the banking dynasty, was in a position to make this outrageous claim to a teenager ‘and be met only with silence and blushes speaks to the disturbing power of the Rothschild men over the women of the family’.

Julie eventually escaped Amschel’s clutches after a male relative objected to the proposed marriage. What Livingstone makes clear from the first chapters of her riveting revisionist study is that the Rothschild wives and sisters did much more than simply produce offspring, although they did plenty of that and

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