Monday, January 09, 2006

Charlotte and Lionel - Stanley Weintraub

Charlotte von Rothschild was young and beautiful. Lionel de Rothschild, almost ten years older, was rich and her cousin. Theirs was an arranged betrothal joining two branches of Europe's most powerful banking firm. It seemed an unlikely love match, and even their wedding in 1836 had to survive the concurrent death of Lionel's patriarchal father N.M. Yet their marriage endured through many tragedies and triumphs. Charlotte became one of the grand chatelaines of the Victorian era; Lionel, England's leading financier, persevered through years of bigotry to become the first Jew to be seated in Parliament. Biographer Stanley Weintraub tells the story of their stunning and surprising love for each other, at the same time opening a fascinating window into a memorable age.