The American Heiress

The American Heiress

A Novel

Book - 2012
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"Anyone suffering Downton Abbey withdrawal symptoms (who isn't?) will find an instant tonic in Daisy Goodwin's The American Heiress. The story of Cora Cash, an American heiress in the 1890s who bags an English duke, this is a deliciously evocative first novel that lingers in the mind." --Allison Pearson, New York Times bestselling author of I Don't Know How She Does It and I Think I Love You

Be careful what you wish for. Traveling abroad with her mother at the turn of the twentieth century to seek a titled husband, beautiful, vivacious Cora Cash, whose family mansion in Newport dwarfs the Vanderbilts', suddenly finds herself Duchess of Wareham, married to Ivo, the most eligible bachelor in England. Nothing is quite as it seems, however: Ivo is withdrawn and secretive, and the English social scene is full of traps and betrayals. Money, Cora soon learns, cannot buy everything, asshe must decide what is truly worth the price in her life and her marriage.

Witty, moving, and brilliantly entertaining, Cora's story marks the debut of a glorious storyteller who brings a fresh new spirit to the world of Edith Wharton and Henry James.

"For daughters of the new American billionaires of the 19th century, it was the ultimate deal: marriage to a cash-strapped British Aristocrat in return for a title and social status. But money didn't always buy them happiness." --Daisy Goodwin in The Daily Mail

The American Heiress was originally sold and distributed in the UK as My Last Duchess

Publisher: New York : St. Martin's Griffin, [2012]
Edition: 1st St. Martin's Griffin ed
ISBN: 9780312658663
Branch Call Number: GOODWIN D
PR6107.O6625 M9 2012
Characteristics: 468, [12] p. ; 21 cm
Additional Contributors: Goodwin, Daisy


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wendybird Feb 25, 2016

This historical romance is Daisy Goodwin''s first novel, and while a strong and enjoyable effort, if you're on a time budget, skip straight to her 2nd, "The fortune hunter", which is absolutely delectable.
Still, Godwin does a good job rendering that late 19th century practice of British nobility marrying rich Americans to keep the title and the castle afloat. She's done her history homework and her plot, dialogue and social setting all ring true.

Feb 22, 2016

Really enjoyed this novel, was also quite the page-turner. Hard to imagine it was a first novel for this author! Looking forward to reading another.

Jan 30, 2016

I loved this one, and was actually surprised by how much. The secrety-secrets aspect of it wasn't a total success, since I pretty much had it all figured out all along, and yet I found myself totally sucked into the world, and really invested in both Cora and her duke. There's a bit of a flavor of poor-little-rich-girl to the proceedings, and yet I still deeply felt for this character who seemingly had everything. A great read for Downton Abbey fans, of course, but there's more depth here than I was expecting, while still being a fun, frothy read.

Jan 10, 2016

It was alright, but I wish I hadn't wasted my time trying to finish it. I had it called from the first chapter.

Dec 11, 2014

I am not sure why people liked this book. Very tedious childish fantasy book. No surprises. No twists, no plot, shallow characters. Very predictable.
Not even historically enlightening. Don't waste your time.

Aug 09, 2014

A pleasure. I almost dropped the book at the beginning because the spoilt heroine was a little too much like Jane Austen's Emma and she was getting on my nerves. I'm very glad I persisted, because the novel turned into a page-turner, I found that it had more complexity and detail than the standard romance.

mrsgail5756 Apr 12, 2013

A++ All the way….A must have Book in all Libraries - worth the long library wait and WORTH the cost of owing!
I would recommend this movie for all to read.

EuSei Mar 13, 2013

A nice, well-written book. The main character, Cora, was clearly inspired by the life of Consuelo Balsam (née Vanderbilt, ex-Duchess of Marlborough), also an American. Differently from Consuelo, though, Cora is spirited and has a mind of her own. But like Consuelo, Cora has a domineering mother, very much like Alva Vanderbilt, Mrs. Cash (who is also a Southerner like Consuelo’s mother). From their trips in the family yacht, to the contraption Mrs. Vanderbilt used to put on Consuelo in order to keep her spine straight, many are the similarities. In Consuelo’s book (The Glitter and the Gold) she tells the same story Cora mentions: that of waiting for the butler to send someone to make the fire, a task much below his rank, while her grace almost froze! Like with Consuelo, Cora’s groom leaves her for a hunting trip until the night before the wedding. A nice read.

Nov 21, 2012

Cora Cash believes herself like Emma Woodhouse to be ?handsome, clever and rich;? but her destiny is more likely to be charted by her mother. Nothing less than a British title will do. When she literally falls into the hands of the enigmatic Duke of Wareham when she falls from her horse, the story takes readers though a year or so of her maiden voyage learning about expectations in the upper class world of fin de siècle England.

Some of the characters are a bit stereotyped, but it?s a great page-turning read while we wait for another year of ?Downton Abbey!?

marilynnebooks Sep 08, 2012

Enjoyable and interesting read regarding American/British marriage of this time period.
The book's "happy, romantic" ending is unrealistic.

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mrsgail5756 Apr 12, 2013

“One person can make a difference and every person should try.” –John F Kennedy

mrsgail5756 Apr 12, 2013

“Respectability is the punishment of the wild.”-Margaret Mitchell


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SAPPHIREBEAR15 Jun 07, 2012

Certain movies are entirely driven by the meet-cute situation, and contrived circumstances throw the couple together for much of the screenplay. However, movies in which the contrived situation is the main feature, such as Some Like It Hot, rather than the romance being the main feature, are not considered "meet-cutes".
The use of the meet-cute is less marked in television series and novels, because these formats have more time to establish and develop romantic relationships. In situation comedies, relationships are static and meet-cute is not necessary, though flashbacks may recall one (The Dick Van Dyke Show, Mad About You) and lighter fare may require contrived romantic meetings.


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