‘Captivating, intimate, dazzling epic and revelatory’ SIMON SEBAG-MONTEFIORE
The story of the family who rose from the Frankfurt ghetto to become synonymous with wealth and power has been much mythologized. Yet half the Rothschilds, the women, remain virtually unknown.
From the East End of London to the Eastern seaboard of the United States, from Spitalfields to Scottish castles, from Bletchley Park to Buchenwald, and from the Vatican to Palestine, Natalie Livingstone follows the extraordinary lives of the English branch of the Rothschild women from the dawn of the nineteenth century to the early years of the twenty first.
As Jews in a Christian society and women in a deeply patriarchal family, they were outsiders. Determined to challenge and subvert expectations, they supported each other, building on the legacies of their mothers and aunts. They became influential hostesses and talented diplomats, choreographing electoral campaigns, advising prime ministers, advocating for social reform and trading on the stock exchange. Misfits and conformists, conservatives and idealists, performers and introverts, they mixed with Rossini and Mendelssohn, Disraeli, Gladstone and Chaim Weizmann, amphetamine-dealers, temperance campaigners, Queen Victoria, and Albert Einstein. They broke code, played a pioneering role in the environmental movement, scandalised the world of women’s tennis by introducing the overarm serve and drag-raced with Miles Davies in Manhattan.
Absorbing and compulsive THE WOMEN OF ROTHSCHILD gives voice to the complicated, privileged and gifted women whose vision and tenacity shaped history.