Sisters of Fortune: America's Caton Sisters at Home and Abroad (Hardcover)

America's Caton Sisters at Home and Abroad

By Jehanne Wake

Touchstone, 9781451607611, 416pp.

Publication Date: April 5, 2011



Perfect for fans of the Emmy Award-winning series Downton Abbey, whose creator, Julian Fellowes, raved that Sisters of Fortune is "absolutely fascinating"--a real-life Jane Austen story, that follows the fabulous Caton sisters, the first American heiresses to take Europe by storm.

Based on intimate and previously unpublished letters written by the sisters, this is a portrait of four lively and fashionable women in early nineteenth century America. Much of it is told in their own voices as they gossip about prominent people of their time, advise family members on political and financial strategy, soothe each other's sorrows, and rejoice in each other's triumphs.

Descended from one of the nation's founding fathers and raised to be educated, independent, and opinionated young women, Marianne, Bess, Louisa, and Emily Caton traveled to England in 1816 and won coveted places at the highest levels of Regency society by virtue of their charm, intelligence, and great beauty. An unusual, remarkable true story of money, love, and life at the top, Sisters of Fortune is a romantic family history and an inside look at the adventures of America's original blue-blooded girls.

Praise For Sisters of Fortune: America's Caton Sisters at Home and Abroad

Sisters of Fortune ... is a stylish piece of scholarship that revivifies the nineteenth-century blue-blooded world of the Maryland-born Caton siblings ... illuminating these educated, well-traveled women’s flair for diplomacy, finance, fashion, and intriguing courtships.” --Elle

“In Wake's hands, the sisters still dazzle, blending continental influences with their enviable but heartbreaking adventures in England and France.” --Publishers Weekly

“A fascinating tale . . . [Wake] succeeds in tracing ‘the filmy threads of women’s influence’ in high society on both sides of the Atlantic through more than six decades, using the Caton sisters’ lives as touchstones.. . . [A] comprehensive account of four strong-willed sisters’ adventures in ‘another world’ they confidently made their own.” –New York Times Book Review

“An extraordinary tale of four wealthy, clever women who were ahead of their time. . . . A groundbreaking, feminist biography.” -The Daily Beast

“A meticulously researched, highly readable narrative ... This fascinating book yields rich insights into a world where wealth gave certain women unprecedented access to power and influence.” --Library Journal

“I found Sisters of Fortune absolutely fascinating . . . I could not have enjoyed it more. I envy the people who have still to read it." – Julian Fellowes