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Meet the American Heiresses Who Inspired Downton Abbey

When:
September 1, 2019 @ 8:00 am – August 31, 2020 @ 10:00 pm
2019-09-01T08:00:00-05:00
2020-08-31T22:00:00-05:00
Meet the American Heiresses Who Inspired Downton Abbey

The new Downton Abbey movie is generating renewed interest in the lives of Downton’s aristocratic Crawley family. Celebrate that interest by booking my talk, Gilded Age Buccaneers: How American Heiresses Stormed the British Aristocracy. The character of Downton Abbey’s Cora Levinson Crawley, Countess of Grantham was inspired by the true stories of the hundreds of American heiresses who crossed the Atlantic Ocean in the late 19th and early 20th centuries in search of titled husbands.

These daughters of self-made millionaires knew that their marriages would improve their families’ social standing with America’s snobbish old money elite. Their parents were willing to provide huge dowries to secure that prestige, just as Cora Crawley’s parents did. At the same time, many of Great Britain’s aristocratic families desperately needed the cash to maintain their crumbling estates and privileged lifestyles. By World War I, these ‘Dollar Princesses’ had married into a third of Great Britain’s aristocratic families, and their dowries had pumped the equivalent of $1.5 billion into the British economy.

Gilded Age Buccaneers: How American Heiresses Stormed the British Aristocracy shares the fascinating stories of the headstrong young women who left an indelible mark on the British landscape.

Find Out More About My Presentations

I’ve spent more than 30 years visiting the United Kingdom and traveling across the United States seeking out places with links to the British Isles. My presentations draw on this rich body of knowledge to help audiences learn more about British history and culture. They’ll also discover the rewarding encounters they can have with England, Scotland, Ireland, and Wales right here in America. Contact me at colleensehy@gmail.com for more information on booking one of my talks.

 

 

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