Get to know some: Heiresses

The Lives of the Million Dollar Babies

by Laura Thompson

Many have heard the phrase “The rich are different.” That certainly seems to be true for the heiresses profiled in this wide-ranging title.

The book opens in a very literary manner exploring fictional heiresses as well as those characters in novels who did not have money. Those cited appear in everything from the works of Jane Austen, to those of Agatha Christie, to those in movies like The Philadelphia Story, with many others as well. It is an engaging beginning to this title.

An understanding of what happened to heiresses historically is explored. For example, for many years, the law defined all property as the husband’s with the wife having little to no say in her own funds. Thus, the book opens with an heiress in the 1600s. It moves forward to talk about more recent heiresses including Patty Hearst.

This is a fascinating read whether one goes in order or dips in and out. Those who are interested in women’s lives, history and the life of an heiress should enjoy this non-fiction work.

Many thanks to NetGalley and St Martin’s Press for this title. All opinions are my own

Pub Date 15 Feb 2022

Editorial Reviews

Review

“Trapped in a silk-draped Venn diagram with the socialite and hostess, the heiress has been an unfair object of ridicule. After years of getting dragged through the tabloids and trotted out on reality shows like one of her beloved show ponies, she is both restored to dignity by Thompson’s concerned embrace and pushed away with an air kiss.” –New York Times Book Review

“[A] romp through the lives of the filthy rich.” –Wall Street Journal

“Skillfully evoking disparate social milieus and generational divides, Thompson packs the narrative full of juicy gossip without resorting to caricature. Readers will be enthralled.” –Publishers Weekly

“Authoritative, eye-opening, and gloriously gossipy.”–Booklist

“Engaging…A book that offers insight as well as entertainment―a peek into the human condition from an unexpected angle.” –Kirkus Reviews

Author: joycesmysteryandfictionbookreviews

I love to read, recommend books and open the world of reading to others. I tutor to ensure that the next generation of readers will know the joys of a good book because their reading skills have improved. I am an avid reader, especially of mysteries and fiction. I believe that two of the world's greatest inventions were the public library and eyeglasses!

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