AMERICAN GLAMOUR MEETS THE BRITISH ARISTOCRACY: ANNE DE COURCY’S THE HUSBAND HUNTERS OUT IN PAPERBACK

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The paperback edition of Anne de Courcy’s insightful group biography THE HUSBAND HUNTERS is published today in paperback by Weidenfeld & Nicolson, following its release in hardback, ebook and audio in June 2017. Jane Ridley praised Anne’s exploration into the lives of the young American heiresses who married into the English aristocracy in The Spectator, as ‘cleverly researched, sparkling with diamonds and wickedly funny.’

US readers can expect hardback copies of the sparkling social history of the 'Dollar Princesses' in August.

Towards the end of the nineteenth century and for the first few years of the twentieth, a strange invasion took place in Britain. The citadel of power, privilege and breeding in which the titled, land-owning governing class had barricaded itself for so long was breached. The incomers were a group of young women who, fifty years earlier, would have been looked on as the alien denizens of another world - the New World, to be precise. From 1874 - the year that Jennie Jerome, the first known 'Dollar Princess', married Randolph Churchill - to 1905, dozens of young American heiresses married into the British peerage, bringing with them all the fabulous wealth, glamour and sophistication of the Gilded Age.

Anne de Courcy sets the stories of these young women and their families in the context of their times. Based on extensive first-hand research, drawing on diaries, memoirs and letters, this richly entertaining group biography reveals what they thought of their new lives in England - and what England thought of them.

Rights to Anne’s next project, CHANEL’S RIVIERA, have already been snapped up by Weidenfeld & Nicolson and St Martin’s Press. Exploring World War II’s impact on the glitz and glamour of the French Riviera, from the last golden fling of 1939 and the first Cannes Film Festival, which had to be suspended, to the first post-war festival of cinema, Anne de Courcy will tell another riveting tale, with its glossy motley crew, set against dark times. A fascinating cast includes Winston Churchill, the Windsors, Edith Wharton, Aldous Huxley, P.G. Wodehouse, Somerset Maugham, and of course Coco Chanel.

Anne de Courcy is a best-selling biographer, acclaimed for her first-hand research and engaging books, which not only tell the stories of her subjects’ lives, but depict the social history of the period. Her biographies include THE VICEROY’S DAUGHTERS, DIANA MOSLEY, DEBS AT WAR and SNOWDON. MARGOT AT WAR: LOVE AND BETRAYAL IN DOWNING STREET, 1912-1916 was shortlisted for the Paddy Power Political Book of the Year Award. THE FISHING FLEET spent many weeks on the Sunday Times bestseller list and has been optioned for film and TV, with rights to THE HUSBAND HUNTERS also under negotiation.

See more on Anne’s website here.

Praise for THE HUSBAND HUNTERS:

‘Anne de Courcy has a sharp instinct for absurdity and there is much of that in this entertaining book. De Courcy engagingly…takes a serious look at the differences between the largely matriarchal American upper-class society of the day, run by women, for women.’ —Anne Sebba, The Literary Review

Lively, shrewd and fresh as a gilded rose, de Courcy’s book is her best yet. I can’t wait to read it again.’ — Miranda Seymour, The Daily Telegraph

 ‘De Courcy charts these harbingers of the Gilded Age, their social mountaineering and the collateral damage that ensured with dexterous charm.’ — The Field

‘For all those who long for more Edith Wharton novels, Anne de Courcy’s THE HUSBAND HUNTERS is a worthy successor, especially as it is the true story of THE BUCCANEERS. Anne de Courcy’s thrilling prose, and fascinating diaries and letters of the period, means the story of the capitulation of British lords to 400 energetic American heiresses is impossible to put down.’ — Rebecca Fraser, author of THE MAYFLOWER

‘A sparkling and richly entertaining account of an intriguing and unusual culture clash.’ — The Mail on Sunday

The arrival of THE HUSBAND HUNTERS in the UK, as De Courcy, Weidenfeld & St Martins set their sights on CHANEL’S RIVIERA

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On 1 June Weidenfeld & Nicolson publish the UK edition of THE HUSBAND HUNTERS: Social Climbing in London & New York, Anne de Courcy’s sparkling social history of the 'Dollar Princesses' – the young American heiresses who married into the English aristocracy, rescuing crumbling castles and failing estates and gaining titles in return. UK readers can buy W&N’s beautiful hardback and download the audiobook, read by Clare Corbett.

St Martins Press will publish THE HUSBAND HUNTERS in the US in 2018. Charlie Spicer of St Martins and Alan Samson of Weidenfeld have also snapped up Anne’s new project CHANEL’S RIVIERA, for publication in 2020.

British readers are in for another De Courcy treat with THE HUSBAND HUNTERS as she tells how from 1874 – the year that Jennie Jerome, the first known 'Dollar Princess', married Randolph Churchill – to 1905, dozens of young American heiresses married into the British peerage, bringing with them all the fabulous wealth, glamour and sophistication of the Gilded Age. Anne de Courcy sets the stories of these young women and their families in the context of their times and vividly portrays a world where buying a swift route up the social ladder was the order of the day. Based on extensive first-hand research, drawing on diaries, memoirs and letters, this is a richly entertaining and revealing group biography.

CHANEL’S RIVIERA promises to be an equally enthralling take on stormy seasons on the French Riviera, with all the glamour and glitz of the high life interrupted by the outbreak of World War II. From the last golden fling of 1939 and the first Cannes Film Festival, which had to be suspended, to the first post-war festival of cinema, Anne de Courcy will tell another riveting tale, with its glossy motley crew, set against dark times. A fascinating cast includes Winston Churchill, the Windsors, Edith Wharton, Aldous Huxley, P.G. Wodehouse, Somerset Maugham, and of course Coco Chanel.

Anne de Courcy is a best-selling biographer, acclaimed for her first-hand research and engaging books, which not only tell the stories of her subjects’ lives, but depict the social history of the period. Her biographies include THE VICEROY’S DAUGHTERS, DIANA MOSLEY, DEBS AT WAR and SNOWDON. MARGOT AT WAR: LOVE AND BETRAYAL IN DOWNING STREET, 1912-1916 was shortlisted for the Paddy Power Political Book of the Year Award. THE FISHING FLEET spent many weeks on the Sunday Times bestseller list and has been optioned for film and TV, with rights to THE HUSBAND HUNTERS also under negotiation.

See more on Anne’s website here.

Praise for Anne de Courcy:

‘Anne de Courcy combines the perseverance of a social historian with the panache of the novelist’ – The Times

‘De Courcy paints a rich canvas.’ The Sunday Times

‘De Courcy tells her story with perspicacity and aplomb.’ – The Field

‘Compulsively readable and immaculately researched, popular social history at its very best.’ – The Mail on Sunday

‘A world of glittering house parties, aristocratic immorality and political intrigue in a narrative that reads like a racy novel.’ – Sunday Times

St. Martin's pre-empts de Courcy's THE HUSBAND HUNTERS

Charles Spicer of St. Martin's has pre-empted US rights in THE HUSBAND HUNTERS: Social Climbing in London and New York, by bestselling biographer and historian Anne de Courcy. Described as ‘the real Downton Abbey story’, Anne de Courcy’s latest work tells of the wealthy American heiresses who came to England to marry impoverished aristocrats, so they could gain titles, and the titled could boost their dwindling coffers and save their threatened estates. Charlie Spicer snapped up THE HUSBAND HUNTERS from de Courcy’s agent, Isobel Dixon at Blake Friedmann, and will publish in 2018. Alan Samson of Weidenfeld will publish in the UK in June 2017.

Charles Spicer of St. Martin's says: ‘The minute I read Anne de Courcy's brilliantly researched and witty THE HUSBAND HUNTERS which brings to vivid life the world of Downton Abbey on both sides of the Atlantic, I knew I had to bring it to an American market.’

Anne de Courcy says: ‘I had great fun writing THE HUSBAND HUNTERS, which led me into all sorts of unexplored byways – the most fascinating of which, perhaps, was the realisation that while British nineteenth century society was patriarchal, in that the needs of the male came first every time, contemporary American high society was the opposite – run by women, for women. The care and dedication with which Weidenfeld & Nicolson treat books are rare and important qualities, and I’m thrilled that they are now joined by Charlie Spicer and St. Martin's, who will bring it to a wider US readership. I’m happy that THE HUSBAND HUNTERS is safe in such good transatlantic hands.’

Isobel Dixon says: ‘Anne de Courcy’s meticulous first-hand research and sparkling storytelling make for a richly entertaining group biography that will win her many more fans both sides of the Atlantic. Charlie Spicer has long been an admirer of Anne’s work and I’m delighted that St Martins are joining Weidenfeld & Nicolson in publishing THE HUSBAND HUNTERS now.’

 Anne de Courcy is a best-selling biographer, acclaimed for her first-hand research and engaging books which not only tell the stories of her subjects’ lives, but vividly depict the social history of the period. Her biographies, all of which have been serialised, include THE VICEROY’S DAUGHTERS, DIANA MOSLEY, DEBS AT WAR and SNOWDON. THE FISHING FLEET spent many weeks on the Sunday Times bestseller list. Her most recent book, MARGOT AT WAR: LOVE AND BETRAYAL IN DOWNING STREET, 1912-1916 was shortlisted for the Paddy Power Political Book of the Year Award.

 

See more on Anne’s website here.

 

Praise for Anne de Courcy:

 ‘Anne de Courcy combines the perseverance of a social historian with the panache of the novelist’ – The Times

 

Praise for THE FISHING FLEET:

‘…rich and exhilarating …’ – Lady Antonia Fraser, Mail on Sunday Critics’ Choice, Books of the Year 2012

‘A spirited, highly entertaining book... a sparkling collage of stories and quotations in which we hear the authentic voices of the women and girls she portrays, most of them natural, unaffected writers with sharp eyes, a gift for description and a sense of humour.... brilliantly researched, skilfully constructed and full of delights.– Anne Chisholm, The Daily Telegraph

 ‘Fascinating and evocatively told history’ Financial Times

MARGOT AT WAR published in paperback today

Anne de Courcy’s thrilling true story of Margot Asquith, wife to the Prime Minister during World War One, MARGOT AT WAR, is out today in paperback from Weidenfeld & Nicholson.

Known for her wit, style and habit of speaking her mind, Margot Asquith transformed 10 Downing Street into a glittering social and intellectual salon. Drawing on unpublished material from personal papers and diaries, Anne de Courcy vividly recreates this extraordinary time when the Prime Minister’s residence was run like an English country house, with socialising taking precedence over politics, love letters written in the cabinet room and gossip and state secrets exchanged over the bridge table. It tells of Margot’s heartbreak as she witnessed her much older husband fall hopelessly in love with a young friend. 

The book was shortlisted for Political Book of the Year 2015 in the Paddy Power Political Book Awards.

Anne de Courcy is the author of many highly acclaimed works of biography and social history, and her bestselling THE FISHING FLEET (film rights sold at auction to Ridley Scott) was chosen as one of Lady Antonia Fraser’s best books of 2012 in The Daily Mail.

 Praise for Anne de Courcy:

‘Anne de Courcy combines the perseverance of the social historian with the panache of a novelist’ – The Sunday Times

‘Compulsively readable, and immaculately researched… popular social history at its very best’ – Mail on Sunday

Penny and De Courcy Shortlisted for Political Book Awards

Two Blake Friedmann authors are shortlisted for the Paddy Power Political Book Awards 2015. Anne de Courcy’s MARGOT AT WAR is shortlisted for the category Politcal Book of the Year, and Laurie Penny’s UNSPEAKABLE THINGS is shortlisted in the Polemic of the Year category.

The winner of the Political Book of the Year wins £10,000, and awards are also given out to other category winners. The winners will be announced on 24 January.

MARGOT AT WAR is a biography of Margot Asquith, published by Weidenfeld and Nicholson. Drawing on unpublished material from personal papers and diaries, Anne de Courcy vividly recreates this extraordinary time when the Prime Minister’s residence was run like an English country house. 

Laurie Penny’s UNSPEAKABLE THINGS was published by Bloomsbury. Smart, clear-eyed and irreverent, it is a fresh look at gender and power in the twenty-first century which asks difficult questions about dissent and desire, money and masculinity, sexual violence, menial work, mental health, queer politics and the Internet.