Wedlock : How Georgian Britain's Worst Husband Met His Match Paperback
by Wendy Moore
WEDLOCK is the remarkable story of the Countess of Strathmore and her marriage to Andrew Robinson Stoney.
Mary Eleanor Bowes was one of Britain's richest young heiresses.
She married the Count of Strathmore who died young, and pregnant with her lover's child, Mary became engaged to George Gray.
Then in swooped Andrew Robinson Stoney. Mary was bowled over and married him within the week. But nothing was as it seemed. Stoney was broke, and his pursuit of the wealthy Countess a calculated ploy.
Once married to Mary, he embarked on years of ill treatment, seizing her lands, beating her, terrorising servants, introducing prostitutes to the family home, kidnapping his own sister.
But finally after many years, a servant helped Mary to escape.
She began a high-profile divorce case that was the scandal of the day and was successful.
But then Andrew kidnapped her and undertook a week-long rampage of terror and cruelty until the law finally caught up with him.
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 512 pages
- Publisher: Orion Publishing Co
- Publication Date: 26/12/2009
- Category: Biography: historical, political & military
- ISBN: 9780753828250
Showing 1 - 3 of 3 reviews.
Review by LadyKnowledge
I acquired this book with hesitation. Stories about epic domestic abuse are not my idea of fun reading. Instead, I discovered the story of a woman who epitomised the expression "wed in haste, repent at leisure." In an age when women were a mere extension of their husbands, Mary Eleanor Bowes managed to gain the sympathy and support of a very mysogynistic legal system. The sheer scale of the abuse she suffered at the hands of her husband, Andrew Robinson Stoney set her in a class apart, even in the minds of her contemporaries. Ultimately sacrificing her health in her bid to escape him, forgoing her fortune and depending on the kindness, loyalty and support of her servants, Mary Bowes gained her freedom from her vile captor.The story is one of triumph and Wendy Moore manages to shake some of the stuffiness off the Georgians.
Review by Schopflin
An out-and-out pageturner, 'Wedlock' is clearly aiming for the same market as the wonderful 'Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire'. However it is written in a somewhat more racy and sensationalist style and there were times when I found the 'little did she know...' and 'this was to be a fateful moment' phrases a bit wearing. I think that every last bit of this extraordinary and shocking story was exploited in 'Wedlock', whereas the effect in 'Georgiana' was a subtler: I felt it was a story that would not be believed if it were fictionalised (unless, as with the film, 'The Duchess' much of it were dropped). Nevertheless, highly recommended, and in both cases, makes you very glad to be alive now rather than in the 18th Century.
Review by barpurple
A well put together and interesting read. Combining plenty of historical fact with a great story telling tone Wendy Moore brings the trials of eighteenth century marriage to life.