Thursday, November 29, 2012

thoughts on: The Glitter and the Gold

The Glitter and the Gold: The American Duchess---in Her Own WordsThe Glitter and the Gold: The American Duchess---in Her Own Words by Consuelo Vanderbilt Balsan

Consuelo Vanderbilt was part of the later wave of wealthy American debutantes who married English titles. Still in her teens, she married, against her wishes, the Duke of Marlborough in 1895, and was witness to the major events of the first half of the 20th century.

Her memoir, however, lacks the candor that would have made it fascinating to the modern reader. She is very discrete in speaking of her family, which is admirable, but not interesting. Although she is frank about having been forced into marriage by her ambitious mother, she refrains from discussing her marriage or any other relationships in depth.

Nor does she offer details of the events of her lifetime. The Glitter and the Gold contains glimpses of a fascinating life, touched by two world wars and at times dedicated to social issues. However, most of her memoir is mere name dropping and descriptions of many, many parties and dinners attended.

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