Jehanne Wake

Sisters of Fortune

Sisters of Fortune

The First American Heiresses to Take England by Storm


The Caton sisters were Southern belles descended from the first settlers in Maryland, and were expected to 'marry a Plantation'. But they were independent, fascinated by politics, clever with money, romantic in mood. Arriving In London in 1816 the three sisters forged their own destinies in the face of intense prejudice, against both Americans and Catholics. The widowed Marianne shocked the world by marrying the Wellington's wayward elder brother, the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, and appearing as a 'Catholic Yankee' among the Protestant Anglo-Irish. Louisa eventually became Duchess of Leeds, and a friend of Queen Victoria, while the sphere in which Bess shone was the stockmarket, as queen of speculators.

Based on intimate unpublished letters, Sisters of Fortune is a brilliant portrait of love between sisters, a most unusual story of money and power and a fascinating glimpse of how these extraordinary women influenced the social and international relations of their time.