Husband Hunters (de Courcy) - Discussion Questions

Discussion Questions
We'll add publisher questions if and when they're available; in the meantime, use our LitLovers Talking Points to help start a discussion for THE HUSBAND HUNTERS ... then take off on your own:

1. What were the downsides of wealthy young American women marrying into families of the English aristocracy with their cold, crumbling manses? Could you ever have seen yourself doing so?

2. Anne de Courcy posits that the reason these women opted for English marriages was to escape the competitiveness of New York society in the Gilded Age. Take some time to discuss what that culture was like—and the ways in which New York and British social hierarchies differed. Consider that in Britain, money was no match for title: a duchess, no matter how little money she possessed, would always pull rank, even against a wealthy earl's wife? Is that social ranking any better (or worse) than New York society?

3. What, in fact, were the differences between a gilded American woman and her English cohort? Consider the degree of female power and independence in both countries.

4. Talk about the American "bling"—the number of dresses required for the Newport (Rhode Island) season and the outlandish jewels worn, some of which (necklaces) hung to the floor.

5. What is the history of the 400 families of New York? How and when did it crop up, and who ruled the roost?

6. The Husband Hunters also treats us to a study of monstrous mothers. Talk about some of the most egregious, including (and especially) Mrs. Bradley-Martin.

7. What was life like for the doyenne of a large English estate? How did that country life differ from the sparkling urban social seasons?

8. Which heiress's marital story do you find most interesting …or appalling?

9. How did the invasion of American heiresses change English culture? Do you end up admiring these women and their energies?

(Questions by LitLovers. Please feel free to use them, online and off, with attribution. Thanks.)

top of page (summary)

Site by BOOM Boom Supercreative

LitLovers © 2020