Wedlock: The True Story of the Disastrous Marriage and Remarkable Divorce of Mary Eleanor Bowes, Countess of Strathmore

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Three Rivers Press, 2010 - Biography & Autobiography - 386 pages
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With the death of her fabulously wealthy coal magnate father when she was just eleven, Mary Eleanor Bowes became the richest heiress in Britain. An ancestor of Queen Elizabeth II, Mary grew to be a highly educated young woman, winning acclaim as a playwright and botanist. Courted by a bevy of eager suitors, at eighteen she married the handsome but aloof ninth Earl of Strathmore in a celebrated, if ultimately troubled, match that forged the Bowes Lyon name. Yet she stumbled headlong into scandal when, following her husband’s early death, a charming young army hero flattered his way into the merry widow’s bed.

Captain Andrew Robinson Stoney insisted on defending her honor in a duel, and Mary was convinced she had found true love. Judged by doctors to have been mortally wounded in the melee, Stoney persuaded Mary to grant his dying wish; four days later they were married.

Sadly, the “captain” was not what he seemed. Staging a sudden and remarkable recovery, Stoney was revealed as a debt-ridden lieutenant, a fraudster, and a bully. Immediately taking control of Mary’s vast fortune, he squandered her wealth and embarked on a campaign of appalling violence and cruelty against his new bride. Finally, fearing for her life, Mary masterminded an audacious escape and challenged social conventions of the day by launching a suit for divorce. The English public was horrified–and enthralled. But Mary’s troubles were far from over . . .

Novelist William Makepeace Thackeray was inspired by Stoney’s villainy to write The Luck of Barry Lyndon, which Stanley Kubrick turned into an Oscar-winning film. Based on exhaustive archival research, Wedlock is a thrilling and cinematic true story, ripped from the headlines of eighteenth-century England.


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User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Once the richest heiress in Britain, Mary Eleanor Bowes (1749-1800), ancestor of the current queen, was a highly intelligent and accomplished woman renowned as a gifted botanist and playwright. She ... Read full review

Review: Wedlock

User Review  - Lynn Moore - Goodreads

Well researched detailed historical biography which reads like a modern thriller. Hard to believe it is a true true story at times. Inspiring story of a strong woman fighting against an abusive husband and a more abusive legal system. Gripping. Read full review

Contents

VILE TEMPTATIONS
225
Landon May 15 1786
249
2 THE TAMING OF BAD WIVES 174
274
1 OUT OF THE WORLD
302
Acknowledgments
325
Copyright

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About the author (2010)

WENDY MOORE is the author of The Knife Man. A journalist and writer specializing in health and medicine, she lives in London with her husband and two children.


From the Hardcover edition.

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