Heiresses: surely they are among the luckiest women on earth. Are they not to be envied, with their private jets and Chanel wardrobes and endless funds? Yet all too often those gilded lives have been beset with trauma and despair. Before the 20th century a wife’s inheritance was the property of her husband, making her vulnerable to kidnap, forced marriages, even confinement in an asylum. And in modern times, heiresses fell victim to fortune-hunters who squandered their millions.
Heiresses is about the lives of the rich, who—as F. Scott Fitzgerald said—are ‘different’. But it is also a bigger story about how all women fought their way to equality, and sometimes even found autonomy and fulfillment.
In the series:
Jan. 7: with Sarah Gristwood on The Modern Royals: Twists & Turns of the English Monarchy
Jan. 14: with Charlotte Gray “Passionate Mothers, Powerful Sons; The Lives of Jennie Jerome Churchill and Sara Delano Roosevelt”
Feb. 11: with Laura Thompson on “The Heiresses: The Lives of the Million Dollar Babies”
Apr. 14: with Rory Cormac on “Crown, Cloak & Dagger”
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