POWER, SCANDAL, GLAMOUR, FAME On 6th November 1895, the beautiful and brilliant heiress Consuelo Vanderbilt was wedded to the near-insolvent Charles Spencer-Churchill, 9th Duke of Marlborough in a dazzling yet miserable match – it glittered above all others for high society’s marriage brokers who, in this single year, forged a series of spectacular, and lucrative, transatlantic unions. The bankrupt and ailing British aristocracy was suddenly injected with all the wealth and glamour of America's newest dynasties. Millions of dollars changed hands as fame, money, power and privilege were all at play. Brimful of scandal, illicit affairs, spurned loves and unexpected tragedy, The Million Dollar Duchesses reveals the closed-door bargaining which led to these most influential matches and how America’s heiresses shook-up British high society for ever.
Julie Ferry is a freelance journalist and has written for The Guardian, Independent, Sunday Times and Sunday Telegraph. She lives with her husband and two children in Bristol.