bookshelves: spring-2014, paper-read, biography, history, one-penny-wonder, nonfiction, published-2009, under-1000-ratings
Read from April 30 to May 12, 2014
Description: With the death of her fabulously wealthy coal magnate father when she was just eleven, Mary Eleanor Bowes became the richest heiress in Britain. An ancestor of Queen Elizabeth II, Mary grew to be a highly educated young woman, winning acclaim as a playwright and botanist. Courted by a bevy of eager suitors, at eighteen she married the handsome but aloof ninth Earl of Strathmore in a celebrated, if ultimately troubled, match that forged the Bowes Lyon name. Yet she stumbled headlong into scandal when, following her husband’s early death, a charming young army hero flattered his way into the merry widow’s bed.
Captain Andrew Robinson Stoney insisted on defending her honor in a duel, and Mary was convinced she had found true love. Judged by doctors to have been mortally wounded in the melee, Stoney persuaded Mary to grant his dying wish; four days later they were married.
Sadly, the “captain” was not what he seemed. Staging a sudden and remarkable recovery, Stoney was revealed as a debt-ridden lieutenant, a fraudster, and a bully. Immediately taking control of Mary’s vast fortune, he squandered her wealth and embarked on a campaign of appalling violence and cruelty against his new bride. Finally, fearing for her life, Mary masterminded an audacious escape and challenged social conventions of the day by launching a suit for divorce. The English public was horrified–and enthralled. But Mary’s troubles were far from over . . .
Opening quote is from 'The Memoirs of Barry Lyndon Esq' by William Makepeace Thackeray.
Opening: Settling down to read his newspaper by the candlelight illuminating the dining room of the Adelphi Tavern, John Hull anticipated a quiet evening.
Actively urged on by Anna, and Gerry's current enthusiasm this has been picked as 'next'. Ay-up, Susanna is reading it alongside too, which makes this incredibly spiffy all round.
An engrossing read, I just ate up the pages and now find there are a zillion other books that need reading, however most important is a re-read of Boswell's 'The Life of Samuel Johnson'.
Mary Bowes, Countess of Strathmore and Kinghorne
Gibside Hall today
Column of Liberty, Gibside
Clotworthy Skeffington. Later, 1st Earl of Massereene: 1744-46
Marriage à-la-mode : The Marriage Contract
The Tête à Tête from the Marriage à la Mode series (No. 2)
Painting cycle " Mariage à la Mode ", scene: visit with the Quack Doctor
Marriage à-la-mode: The Countess's Morning Levee
" Mariage à la Mode ", scene: The murder of the count
6. The Lady's Death
Glammis Castle - don't mention the Scottish Play