Wedlock by Wendy Moore – a true story that’s as thrilling as any novel

This entry was posted on Thursday, June 16th, 2011 at 7:07 PM

If you think, as I did, that newspapers’ lust for juicy gossip about celebrities is a modern phenomenon, think again. The heroine, Mary Eleanor Bowes, kept an ever eager Georgian press in titillating stories for much of her life.

I just couldn’t put this book down! It’s a fabulous story from start to finish, really well-written and must have taken an enormous amount of diligent research.

The blurb on the back claims it’s as thrilling as a novel and so it is.

It’s the true story of Mary Eleanor Bowes, who when her father died in 1760, became England’s richest heiress worth around £80m and £150m in today’s money.

She certainly knew how to enjoy it and became a Georgian celebrity making sensational headlines in pretty much the same way that today’s rich and famous do. However, in those days there were no privacy laws and certainly no super injunctions to protect them against the press. People could post stories to newspapers in specially provided boxes about about anyone they liked.  And they could do it anonymously making it impossible for editors to check the facts even if they wanted to.

After yet another piece of scandal about Mary had appeared in the Morning Post, her new admirer, the charismatic Andrew Robinson Stoney, demanded that the editor reveal his source.  The editor was most likely telling the truth when he claimed that he couldn’t, because he probably didn’t know!

Stoney challenged the editor to a duel in Mary’s honour. But far from being an act of gallantry, it was an audacious con that lead to eight years of violence and mental torture for poor Mary at Stoney’s hands. The  jaw-dropping details of Mary and Andrew’s relationship, and his appalling behaviour, were to give the press a constant supply of salacious gossip for many years.

The book is both a fascinating insight into what life was like for a Georgian woman and a story of courage and determination. Mary’s fight back will have you cheering – it did me!

Published by: Orion Publishing Co Phoenix (an Imprint of The Orion Publishing Group Ltd)
ISBN10: 0753828251
ISBN13: 9780753828250
Publication date: 26 Dec 2009

 

 

 

 

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Hello. I'm Elaine, I'm a copywriter and this is my blog.

It's mostly about words and writing - things that inspire me, entertain me, and make me smile. Sometimes it's about things that horrify me so much I want to scream and shout!

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