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Women of Means: The Fascinating Biographies of Royals, Heiresses, Eccentrics and Other Poor Little Rich Girls

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#1 New Release in Royalty ─ Glimpse Behind the Façade of Rich and Famous Women If you liked The Last Castle and Lean In, you’ll love Women of Means. The Grass Isn't Greener on the Other Side: Heiresses have always been viewed with eyes of envy. They were the ones for whom the cornucopia had been upended, showering them with unimaginable wealth and opportunity. Howe #1 New Release in Royalty ─ Glimpse Behind the Façade of Rich and Famous Women If you liked The Last Castle and Lean In, you’ll love Women of Means. The Grass Isn't Greener on the Other Side: Heiresses have always been viewed with eyes of envy. They were the ones for whom the cornucopia had been upended, showering them with unimaginable wealth and opportunity. However, through intimate historical biographies, Women of Means shows us that oftentimes the weaving sisters saved their most heart-wrenching tapestries for the destinies of wealthy women.Happily Never After: From the author of Behind Every Great Man, we now have Women of Means, vignettes of the women who were slated from birth—or marriage—to great privilege, only to endure lives which were the stuff Russian tragic heroines are made of. They are the nonfictional Richard Corys—those not slated for happily ever after.Women of Means is bound to be a non-fiction best seller, full of the best biographies of all time. Some of the women whose silver spoons rusted include: Almira Carnarvon, the real-life counterpart to Lady Cora of Downton Abbey Liliane Bettencourt, whose chemist father created L’Oreal... and was a Nazi collaborator Peggy Guggenheim, who had an insatiable appetite for modern art and men Nica Rothschild, who traded her gilded life to become the Baroness of Bebop Jocelyn Wildenstein, who became a cosmetology-enhanced cat-woman Ruth Madoff, the dethroned queen of Manhattan Patty Hearst, who trod the path from heiress... to terrorist


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#1 New Release in Royalty ─ Glimpse Behind the Façade of Rich and Famous Women If you liked The Last Castle and Lean In, you’ll love Women of Means. The Grass Isn't Greener on the Other Side: Heiresses have always been viewed with eyes of envy. They were the ones for whom the cornucopia had been upended, showering them with unimaginable wealth and opportunity. Howe #1 New Release in Royalty ─ Glimpse Behind the Façade of Rich and Famous Women If you liked The Last Castle and Lean In, you’ll love Women of Means. The Grass Isn't Greener on the Other Side: Heiresses have always been viewed with eyes of envy. They were the ones for whom the cornucopia had been upended, showering them with unimaginable wealth and opportunity. However, through intimate historical biographies, Women of Means shows us that oftentimes the weaving sisters saved their most heart-wrenching tapestries for the destinies of wealthy women.Happily Never After: From the author of Behind Every Great Man, we now have Women of Means, vignettes of the women who were slated from birth—or marriage—to great privilege, only to endure lives which were the stuff Russian tragic heroines are made of. They are the nonfictional Richard Corys—those not slated for happily ever after.Women of Means is bound to be a non-fiction best seller, full of the best biographies of all time. Some of the women whose silver spoons rusted include: Almira Carnarvon, the real-life counterpart to Lady Cora of Downton Abbey Liliane Bettencourt, whose chemist father created L’Oreal... and was a Nazi collaborator Peggy Guggenheim, who had an insatiable appetite for modern art and men Nica Rothschild, who traded her gilded life to become the Baroness of Bebop Jocelyn Wildenstein, who became a cosmetology-enhanced cat-woman Ruth Madoff, the dethroned queen of Manhattan Patty Hearst, who trod the path from heiress... to terrorist

30 review for Women of Means: The Fascinating Biographies of Royals, Heiresses, Eccentrics and Other Poor Little Rich Girls

  1. 4 out of 5

    Ghost of the Library

    Biographies are my favorite genre, maybe that means i'm a gossipy ghost i don't know, but fact is, i believe the only way we will all learn is by looking at whats behind, what actions were taken, their positives and negatives, and the impact they had on modern society as a whole. That being said , i should also be just and add, a biographer has probably one of the hardest tasks of all - walking that razor thin line that separates biography from hagiography from i hate this person and why the hell Biographies are my favorite genre, maybe that means i'm a gossipy ghost i don't know, but fact is, i believe the only way we will all learn is by looking at whats behind, what actions were taken, their positives and negatives, and the impact they had on modern society as a whole. That being said , i should also be just and add, a biographer has probably one of the hardest tasks of all - walking that razor thin line that separates biography from hagiography from i hate this person and why the hell am i writing about you (oh that's right, i got bills to pay!). Naturally, since an author is only after all a human being, not everyone will succeed in this endeavor....and that is sadly what happened here. I cant bring myself to recommend this to anyone, and its a shame because 80% of the women in here had a life worth telling - no matter how tragic/sad/bad they might have been - without the judgmental undertone that is present in the whole book. These women were/are filthy rich true, they live(d) a life the vast majority of us can only see on social media or in a Hollywood movie - if we so decide to follow those people/buy the movie ticket - but to dumb them down to stupid vapid empty women is insulting, demeaning and down right a shame. The only ones that seem to merit some respect are the ones who, literally, kicked the men in their lives to the curb and became vengeful harpies.....which only annoyed me more, i mean nothing wrong with getting rid of the bad baggage in your life, but also please don't judge a book just by its cover, and please don't judge the actions of women who in some cases lived almost 100 years ago by today's standards. Maybe i'm wrong, maybe i have read too many books of half of these ladies, but i think this fails not only as a serious biography but also as an introduction...if you want to learn a thing or two and be entertained there's better options out there than this...that is all i can say. Anyways, happy readings!

  2. 4 out of 5

    Priya

    Like the earlier books from the author, this one was a fascinating read about people I have heard about or read about and even marveled at or been envious of! Money is of course necessary for a good life and is something no one would say no to. But the women featured in this book have so much of it that it takes over their lives. Proving that richness is no cornucopia for all ills, these women go through their own share of heartache, both self inflicted and well deserved. Told in an engaging way, Like the earlier books from the author, this one was a fascinating read about people I have heard about or read about and even marveled at or been envious of! Money is of course necessary for a good life and is something no one would say no to. But the women featured in this book have so much of it that it takes over their lives. Proving that richness is no cornucopia for all ills, these women go through their own share of heartache, both self inflicted and well deserved. Told in an engaging way, their stories kept me hooked.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Carole Sustak

    A wonderfully insightful, yet humorous jaunt, through the lives of numerous women of wealth via inheritance or marriage. A fun read!

  4. 5 out of 5

    Kimberly Ragan

    Fantastic Read It is a wonderful book full of fantastic stories of poor little rich girls! The stories are amazing and horrifying at the same time!

  5. 4 out of 5

    Aggie Martinez

    I really enjoyed this book. The author presented each famous woman with a detailed background. Very informative.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Debra Belmudes

    3 1/2 stars Though I found them interesting, the biographies were too brief as they must be to be included in a book of 28 women. I prefer longer, single-subject books and found a few subjects I would like to learn more about.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Angela Watts

    VERY FASCINATING BOOK! CAN'T HELP BUT FEEL SORRY FOR SOME OF THE WOMEN. IT MUST BE VERY HARD TO FIND LOVE WHEN YOU HAVE MONEY. BUT I THINK THEY ARE DIFFERENT FROM MIDDLE AND LOW CLASS. THEY DON'T WORK OR KNOW WHAT ITS. LIKE TO BE WITH OUT. EXCEPT MAYBE LOVE AND AFFECTION.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Jonna Gentry

    Interesting and sad... I found the peeks into the lives of famous fascinating and heartbreaking. Ms. Wagman does an excellent job of insinuating and not being overly graphic with her descriptions of each woman's escapades. I finished the book with a greater empathy for each of the women portrayed.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Shirley

    Interesting compilation of famous lives.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Cassandra

    I received a complimentary copy. Its a good look into what it takes to be on another side of the poverty level as far as social status. Well written so that you can connect the stories instead of immediately not feeling any remorse for the way women can be overlooked.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Lindsay

    I love this author and all of her books so far. They are full of so many fascinating facts about people who we may think we know but usually have no real clue about as well as introducing us as a reader to unknown women who have a life story which can be tragic or successful. In her latest work we look at women who on the face of it should have the world at their feet but behind the name and money cones pain and misfortune that we can only begin to understand. This book did not disappoint with a I love this author and all of her books so far. They are full of so many fascinating facts about people who we may think we know but usually have no real clue about as well as introducing us as a reader to unknown women who have a life story which can be tragic or successful. In her latest work we look at women who on the face of it should have the world at their feet but behind the name and money cones pain and misfortune that we can only begin to understand. This book did not disappoint with a fascinating mix of women some well known and some lesser so but everyone has a story mixed in tragedy which was just fascinating to read. My favourites in this book were Nancy Cunard and Jocelyn Wilderstein. These two women I had thought I knew but through this book realised I knew nothing at all about them. Many Cunard was not only an muse to many famous men but also a dedicated activist in her time yet mental illness and alcoholism damaged her life and ultimately caused her death. Jocelyn Wilderstein is known through the media as cat woman due to her obsession with this plastic surgery to make her look more feline but the tragic story behind why is heartbreaking. This book is a fascinating read behind the curtain of a life most of us could not even achieve or imagine.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Jenny

    I have read a few of Marlene Wagman-Geller‘s fascinating books and was looking forward to this one, and it didn’t disappoint. Women of Means is a well researched book full of interesting biographies of ‘well off’ women from royals to heiresses, full of the intimate details of these women you get to understand their lives through their stories. The women who really stood our for me were, Almira Carnarvon, who was the real-life inspiration for Downton Abbey’s Lady Cora. Nica Rothschild, was anothe I have read a few of Marlene Wagman-Geller‘s fascinating books and was looking forward to this one, and it didn’t disappoint. Women of Means is a well researched book full of interesting biographies of ‘well off’ women from royals to heiresses, full of the intimate details of these women you get to understand their lives through their stories. The women who really stood our for me were, Almira Carnarvon, who was the real-life inspiration for Downton Abbey’s Lady Cora. Nica Rothschild, was another fascinating women, the chapter on her recounts how she chose to trade her gilded life to become the Baroness of Bebop. Liliane Bettencourt’s story intrigued me, the daughter of the chemist who created L’Oreal, she became a Nazi collaborator. These are just a few examples of the women Wagman-Geller has written about but there are many more stories to explore in her latest book. I could not put this book down, and would definitely recommend it, a five star read.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Erin

    This is a gossip knock off of a book. The lives of these ladies are fascinating and some are more notorious than others. However, you get most of the same facts from a Wikipedia article. Indeed, most of the sources are the Daily Mail, People or the ladies' obituaries. The author also has the bad habit of changing which name she wants to use to refer to a person. This makes following the thread of the chapter difficult. There's also some date errors, a glaring one in the Casey Johnson chapter. Th This is a gossip knock off of a book. The lives of these ladies are fascinating and some are more notorious than others. However, you get most of the same facts from a Wikipedia article. Indeed, most of the sources are the Daily Mail, People or the ladies' obituaries. The author also has the bad habit of changing which name she wants to use to refer to a person. This makes following the thread of the chapter difficult. There's also some date errors, a glaring one in the Casey Johnson chapter. The shoehorning of the themes in the chapters makes for a tiresome effect. I wish the chapters were just title by the heiress' names. Another wish is pictures; it would bring the ladies to life. Overall, the book takes a lot of schadenfreude in the misfortunes of the rich. I don't pity the rich. And clearly some of them do make bad decisions. However, some of the ladies' less scandalous accomplishments are glossed over.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Joyce McCombs

    Short, concise bios of women to whom money was literally no object...it was just there, controlling every aspect of their lives, their marriages, their children, and their place in society. Some of the stories begin sadly and end up happier, others go the opposite direction, and those are the most challenging to read. I liked this one for it's brevity, though the author tends to be a bit preachy with her tendency to lead and finish each bio with a quote or moral admonishment -- it detracted from Short, concise bios of women to whom money was literally no object...it was just there, controlling every aspect of their lives, their marriages, their children, and their place in society. Some of the stories begin sadly and end up happier, others go the opposite direction, and those are the most challenging to read. I liked this one for it's brevity, though the author tends to be a bit preachy with her tendency to lead and finish each bio with a quote or moral admonishment -- it detracted from the bios and didn't seem necessary, especially since the stories amply demonstrated the pitfalls (and some glories) of being a woman of means.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Tracey

    A fun glance at (mostly) past scandals. Enough to whet the appetite if you want to delve further into tragedy and titillation.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Jamie

    If you love Downton Abbey, you will love reading about the lives of the very rich who were destined to live lives of great privilege. Life sometimes, though, had something else in mind for these women. Marlene Wagman-Geller brings to life people from the past who might otherwise be forgotten or we thought we knew but didn't. Marlene Wagman-Geller has done it yet again with stories about Almira Carnarvon, Huguette Clark, Doris Duke, Patty Hearst, Gloria Vanderbilt, and many others. I look forward If you love Downton Abbey, you will love reading about the lives of the very rich who were destined to live lives of great privilege. Life sometimes, though, had something else in mind for these women. Marlene Wagman-Geller brings to life people from the past who might otherwise be forgotten or we thought we knew but didn't. Marlene Wagman-Geller has done it yet again with stories about Almira Carnarvon, Huguette Clark, Doris Duke, Patty Hearst, Gloria Vanderbilt, and many others. I look forward to her next book.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Linda Edmonds cerullo

    An outstanding look at the lives of famous women. Some were not so well known to me and there were some that I was aware of but did not know certain details of their life. Covering women as diverse as Ruth Madoff, Patty Hearst, Jocelyn Wildenstein (known for having so many plastic surgeries she was referred to as the "cat woman"), Almira Carnavon (the real life counterpart to Lady Cora of Downton Abbey) and several lesser known females, Marlene Wagman-Geller uses short chapters to reveal a multi An outstanding look at the lives of famous women. Some were not so well known to me and there were some that I was aware of but did not know certain details of their life. Covering women as diverse as Ruth Madoff, Patty Hearst, Jocelyn Wildenstein (known for having so many plastic surgeries she was referred to as the "cat woman"), Almira Carnavon (the real life counterpart to Lady Cora of Downton Abbey) and several lesser known females, Marlene Wagman-Geller uses short chapters to reveal a multitude of behind the scenes information on these compelling ladies. Definitely a great read!

  18. 5 out of 5

    Beccy Thompson

    I received a copy of this book from TBC Reviewers request- Thank you This is the first book by Marlene that I have had the pleasure of reading but it won’t be the last. This was a very different read for me, whilst I love a historical book this is the first time I’ve read a book specifically about women in history and their lives. We all love a bit of Downton Abbey but do we really think about what happens behind the glamour? A total eye opener

  19. 5 out of 5

    R.D. Kardon

    What a wonderful book highlighting that extreme wealth does not generally make people happy--and in some notable circumstances, increases unhappiness. As always, a superb job researching and writing this book by Marlene Wagman-Geller

  20. 4 out of 5

    Pamela

    This was an interesting read. Liked it alot. My first book by this author, but wont be my last

  21. 4 out of 5

    Andrea Lee

    Substantantiates the adage, "money can't buy happiness." It can also make you VERY strange.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Gina Boltz

    Interesting If you like Fox News and sensationalist journalism, this book is for you. It's well written but with a reality TV star perspective instead of an intelligent and all encompassing storyline based on the whole person. My initial judgement of the author's limited research began when she attributed the Luisitiana''s sinking to America's involvement in World War I. (It was the Zimmerman telegram that triggered it) Also, having done enough of my own research on several of the heiresses, I re Interesting If you like Fox News and sensationalist journalism, this book is for you. It's well written but with a reality TV star perspective instead of an intelligent and all encompassing storyline based on the whole person. My initial judgement of the author's limited research began when she attributed the Luisitiana''s sinking to America's involvement in World War I. (It was the Zimmerman telegram that triggered it) Also, having done enough of my own research on several of the heiresses, I resented their shallow personifcations on their behalf. I wish Ms. Wagman-Geller had used her talents to create something far more substantial. Instead, this book belongs in the Dumbing Down of America section of your library.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Hallie

    Did not enjoy this - was generally unsatisfied with the full book. There are too many women featured and none of it in depth - I'd prefer instead for the work to tackle fewer women and instead spend more time going more in depth, going beyond the barely superficial for all of them. Each chapter features a different woman, each chapter consists of only a scant few pages - really it's just like reading a slightly longer version of a tabloid piece. I also really hate that the point of the whole thi Did not enjoy this - was generally unsatisfied with the full book. There are too many women featured and none of it in depth - I'd prefer instead for the work to tackle fewer women and instead spend more time going more in depth, going beyond the barely superficial for all of them. Each chapter features a different woman, each chapter consists of only a scant few pages - really it's just like reading a slightly longer version of a tabloid piece. I also really hate that the point of the whole thing is to talk about how miserable these women's lives were, so that theoretically the reader would rejoice in the misery of the rich.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Fred

    If you are looking for a summer read, this may fit the bill. The book offers brief biographical glimpses of some of the most recognizable names --Astor, Guggenheim, and the like-- with emphasis on each woman's foibles. I can not say the book is poorly written, but it does lack depth. For what it is, the author has done a fine job. For me, this was a free Kindle book I used to occupy my time while waiting for FedEx to deliver my latest book purchases. If you are looking for insightful commentary, If you are looking for a summer read, this may fit the bill. The book offers brief biographical glimpses of some of the most recognizable names --Astor, Guggenheim, and the like-- with emphasis on each woman's foibles. I can not say the book is poorly written, but it does lack depth. For what it is, the author has done a fine job. For me, this was a free Kindle book I used to occupy my time while waiting for FedEx to deliver my latest book purchases. If you are looking for insightful commentary, take a pass on this book.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Judith Iglehart

    A good try There are loads of well researched bios of women. This book is by nature episodic and formulaic. In many genres that works. Think of Scandinavian mysteries and US espionage thrillers. But these bios are not fascinating. They are snippets of sad and lewd behavior in an atmosphere of great wealth, and the author relies on well known quotes from other writers to underscore the fact that she didn’t like her subjects very much.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Josephine Beauregard

    This was not quite what I expected when I started to read. I found it confusing as it jumped from women to women. I did enjoy how the book. It shows how life is the same for all. No matter how much money wealth and liberties ones has they also have sorrow and suffering and pain. We are all equal in Gods eyes, we all suffer just differently. I would read this again to get a clearer view of each women’s crisis and how they lived through it.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Guusje

    People Magazine Meets Bartlett's Quotations If you ever want confirmation that money does not buy happiness then this is the book for you. Each Poor Little Rich Girl is allocated about 10 pages (I read it on Kindle so I'm sure) for a synopsis of her wealthy and unhappy life. The author must of had a Bible and a Complete Works of William Shakespeare on her desk since the chapters are peppered with quotes (which sometimes felt like the author was just padding the narrative. Enjoyable fluff.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Emily

    Somewhat of a bait and switch I was expecting a profile of a few women as an exploration of the culture of the wealthy and how women throughout history have been sidelined in spite (or because of) their fortunes. Instead this is a laundry list of the scandals and peccadilloes of rich women. No insight or commentary, just historical gossip.

  29. 4 out of 5

    L Nikkhoo

    Same stories; different names Depicts all featured rich women as materialistic airheads. Closed book half way through because all the stories were negative and the same litany of too much money and poorly managed fortunes. Don’t need it a history or entertainment unless your living in 1930 and don’t have a clue of what the world in 2020 is about.

  30. 4 out of 5

    TJ

    A fun concept for a book, however, there are many incorrect dates which makes it incredibly difficult to follow storylines. This makes one wonder if proofreading was a consideration before the book went to print.

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