Welcome back to Whimsical Wednesday my Wonderful Wordy Wyverns. Today’s Gem is a Diamond the size of the Ritz with just as many facets and in the light will knock your eyes out. It is all too often envied more than the Sorcerer’s Stone or the Arkenstone of Thrain. Women especially delight over it and men will do everything to capture the woman who has it, killing for it, to bask in it’s glow. It’s curse makes the Hope Diamond look like a mere spell taught by a teacher of The Black Arts to his Hogwart’s First Years. This is “Women of Means: The Fascinating Biographies of Royals, Heiresses, Eccentrics and Other Poor Little Rich Girls, ” cultured, created and formed exquisitely by Gem Maker Marlene Wagman-Geller.
I was asked a question today. “What would you do if you had a billion dollars?” A week ago, a week before I read this book, I can assure you my answer would have been quite different. Dear Marlene has pulled the, pardon the pun, scales from my eyes. “Women of Means” is a book filled with the stories of the richest royals, heiresses, eccentrics and other ‘poor little rich girls’ in history. Many you know. You have heard their names, bought their products (whether you knew it or not) or watched their lives play out in the evening news. If you are over 40, you have probably salivated, wanting what they had. Let’s do a bit of name dropping here: Gloria Vanderbilt heiress to a fortune, designer of the first designer jeans, and mother to the now famous Anderson Cooper. For the over 50 set, remember Sunny Von Bulow? I love the way she is portrayed as the modern Sleeping Beauty. I had never thought of her that way until now. The Guggenheim Museum? Ah, there is little Peggy Guggenheim, who grows up to discover the famous Jackson Pollock and collect dogs and paintings and lots of men. Let’s try one more. Do you love Downton Abbey? What a silly question, you are my Book Dragons, of course you love Downton Abbey, so you have of course heard of Almina Victoria Marie Alexandra Wombel, dear Julian’s basis for Lady Cora Crawley. What did all these women have in common?
Money, inherited money, the vast sums of which would make most women pass out if they thought about what they could do with it, if they thought about it longer than as a passing fancy. Imagine being born to wearing silk’s, satin’s, lace, only ever leather shoes, fur coats, never cloth, the best of everything. Never ever watching your parents trying to make ends meet. But then perhaps rarely ever seeing your parents at all. These women often knew their nannies, butlers and chauffeurs better than they ever knew their parents. Often shuffled off to boarding schools they often lost touch with grandparents or extended family they might have had a relationship with. Or worse yet, over protective or tight-fisted family who held everyone a slave simply with purse strings instead of balls and chains.
Some of these women tried to marry their way out. One took up such a bohemian lifestyle her parents completely disowned her. One painted portraits of her mother as beheaded. Another was killed by her own offspring when he ran a knife through her heart. One sat on the vast L’Oreal Empire quiet and reserved until her 90th year when all Hell broke loose in a scandal.
In the pages of this book are extravagances beyond imagination and heartaches beyond bearing. Adventures that would have made Jules Verne envious and parties that would have made Paris Hilton at her height weep with joy. Sorrows that I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy and tragedies that only Job, himself, would have understood. If you only read one true book this year with stories of real women, doing real things, and sometimes actually thriving, this is it. It’s like walking into a closet in an old manse and finding a pile of famous diaries. You will be sorry if you don’t. I guarantee it. It’s currently available on Amazon https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07N8G5XN1/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?_encoding=UTF8&btkr=1 If you have that person on your gift list who loves steamy romance novels, hot gossip, can’t get enough of day time talk shows or Hollywood News…this is the book for them! And check out Marlene Wagman-Geller’s other titles. I know I’m going to!
Remember, there is still time to get in on the November Facebook Giveaway! Until tomorrow, I remain, your humble Book Dragon, Drakon T. Longwitten
I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.