From the Gilded Age until 1914, more than 100 American heiresses invaded Britannia and swapped dollars for titles--just like Cora Crawley, Countess of Grantham, the first of the Downton Abbey characters Julian Fellowes was inspired to create after reading To Marry An English Lord. Filled with vivid personalities, gossipy anecdotes, grand houses, and a wealth of period details--plus photographs, illustrations, quotes, and the finer points of Victorian and Edwardian etiquette--To Marry An English Lord is social history at its liveliest and most accessible.
While I enjoyed it very much, I found it hard to read as the layout was very annoying and frustrating, so I found it was the kind of book that I could put down for a few days and then come back to. But I really enjoyed the back stories of all the American heiresses who literally gave up everything just for a title. It was social climbing at its best. These young women did not marry for love and didn't always have an easy time of it in England, but once in a great while a marriage of convenience did grow into love.