Amazon.com.au:Customer reviews: Women of Means: The Fascinating Biographies of Royals, Heiresses, Eccentrics and Other Poor Little Rich Girls (Bios of Royalty and Rich & Famous, for Fans of Lady in Waiting)
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Edwina Mountbatten's husband was killed in 1979 along with his grandson. The next paragraph tells the reader that his wife Edwina died in 1960 and spend the last few years of her life mourning the death of her husband and grandson - how is this physically possible as she died 19 years before her husband? Just one of several sloppy, incorrect facts in this book.
I was surprised that it was a collection of very short biographies of many heiresses. I had expected something a bit more in depth and substantial of just a few. Also the author writes in strings of idioms, euphemisms and expressions half of which seemed sarcastic or that you have to know. There were some interesting positive and creative bits about some of these women's lives even in their agonies but mostly it felt like gossip or an intrusion and in the end I had to put it down. I felt disappointed.
Half way through this book and it just proves that having money is not always the way to happiness. Their upbringing and wealth seems to be a hindrance to their lives. Am enjoying the read as what you see is not always what is happening in real life.
I would not recommend this book based on the lack of descriptive biographies of these women. Peggy Guggenheim was a very interesting person and I felt there could of been more interesting information given to bring her character alive. Also disappointing was the quotes for instance comparing Edwina’s boarding school to the likes of Jane Eyres school Lowood, now since I did read Jane Eyre I got it , but to tell you the truth it’s kinda lazy writing. You’re the writer uses some descriptive details. Anyhow if you have a day to waste it’s an easy read. Probably get a better biography of these ladies on google or even Vanity Fair magazine. Sorry 2/5 rating from me.
This book is perfect. A lot of books on such a multitude of people fail short of either giving you enough information to satisfy or they go all in and it becomes a challenge to retain all the information in them. What I liked about this book is that each chapter is about one woman, and gives you enough information to keep you interested, and perhaps want to find out more, and indeed, more you can find out, as most of the people included in this book you can find stand alone biographies/memoirs about out there. Another thing I really liked about this book is that I voraciously read books of this type, and on this subject all the time, and while I had read books on many of the people included in it in the past (easily find biographies on Barbara Hutton, Nica Rothschild, Almina Herbert, etc.) it still managed to include people that I either knew virtually nothing about (Ruth Madoff, Jocelyn Wildenstein, etc.) All in all, no matter if it was a chapter about someone I had read up on or someone I had never head of before this book kept me interested, and I was sorry to finish it. I definitely hope this author continues to write more, and will keep an eye out for books by them. Only wish it came in a hardcover so I could include it in my library, but paperbacks get so easily beat up.
Money and success don't change people; they merely amplify what is already there. But is this true? In Women of Means you are introduced to women born into luxury, riches and most of them are bitches! Now you can ask which came first the chicken or the egg? If these women were born of simpler means with nurturing parents and families would their existence and wants be more gentile and altruistic? Would they rise from the ashes with a burning dedication to better themselves and society? The author portrays these women in the raw. No make up, no camera retakes. It is a fascinating look at a class of entitled spoiled women lost in their gluttony, but free of conventional norms the rest of the world is still grappling with. They marry for title, name or money. Have heightened sexual appetites' and adventures - the women's movement dreamed of this freedom. A cycle of divorcing and hooking up again, like sipping tea. But within their craziness and maybe even because of it. society was changed and the by product was fantastic Art, Music Museums. international living, and lifestyles women drooled over. I am old enough to remember the wildly read gossip columns of old Hollywood. The days of Astaire and writers like Fitzgerald. Charismatic world leaders like Nehru. Women With Means is like going through a family album and finally learning about the skeletons in the closet. Wonderfully written, its a book well worth the read.