2021 Mistress of the outlet online sale Elgin Marbles: wholesale A Biography of Mary Nisbet, Countess of Elgin online sale

2021 Mistress of the outlet online sale Elgin Marbles: wholesale A Biography of Mary Nisbet, Countess of Elgin online sale

2021 Mistress of the outlet online sale Elgin Marbles: wholesale A Biography of Mary Nisbet, Countess of Elgin online sale

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Filled with romance, danger, and scandal, Mistress of the Elgin Marbles is the intriguing story of Mary Nisbet, the Countess of Elgin -- one of the most influential women of the Romantic era whose exploits enriched world culture immeasurably. The richest heiress in Scotland and the wife of accomplished diplomat Thomas Bruce, the 7th Earl of Elgin, she traveled to Turkey when Elgin was appointed the Ambassador Extraordinaire to the Ottoman Empire -- a journey that would change history.

Interweaving extensive details gleaned from primary sources and excerpts from the countess''s own letters, Susan Nagel draws a vivid portrait of this formidable woman who helped bring the smallpox vaccine to the Middle East, financed the removal and safe passage to England of classical marbles from the Parthenon, and struck a deal with Napoleon that no politician could have accomplished. Yet, as Nagel shows, those achievements were overshadowed by scandal when Mary''s passionate affair with her husband''s best friend flamed into the most lurid and salacious divorce trial in London''s history. Lively and informative, this is an engrossing story of an astonishing woman who both defined and shaped an era.

From Publishers Weekly

The lively and sharp-witted Scottish heiress Mary Nisbet (1778–1855) shone as the wife of Thomas Bruce, seventh Earl of Elgin and Ambassador Extraordinaire to the Ottoman Empire—whose name became associated with the Parthenon friezes brought to England. In the earliest years of marriage, Mary was her husband''s staunchest ally and participant in his diplomatic work, as her diaries and letters reveal. As Nagel shows, following Elgin''s incarceration under Napoleon and after the tragic loss of their only son as an infant, Mary''s feelings for Elgin began to cool. She resisted his demand for another heir, and their relationship collapsed when Elgin discovered Mary''s affair with his best friend. The glamorous couple''s marriage ended in scandal and a humiliating public divorce. Nagel, who has written for the stage, screen and scholarly journals, creates a sympathetic and emotionally charged portrait of Mary, tracing in vivid detail the couple''s travels, the diplomatic challenges they faced and their growing marital tensions. Elgin''s acquisition of the notorious "Elgin marbles" makes for dramatic reading, but the biography''s chief merit is its wealth of domestic and intimate detail and Nagel''s ability to chart the course of an elite marriage with insight and compassion yet without sentimentality. 16 pages of b&w photos not seen by PW.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

One of the most controversial issues within the contemporary art-museum world is the relocation of artwork back to the country of its origin, and there is no sorer point within this clash of opinions than the Elgin Marbles, sculptures from the Parthenon in Athens now housed in the British Museum as "property" of the British government. These extremely significant cultural artifacts are named after the earl of Elgin, the British ambassador to the Ottoman Empire who acquired them for his personal collection, but the primary focus of Nagel''s absorbing book is Lord Elgin''s wife, one of the most beautiful, vivacious, and internationally popular public figures of the early nineteenth century. Born into wealth and privilege, the countess of Elgin eventually plunged into scandal, and in fact, she was ultimately buried in an unmarked grave. The reconstruction of her sparkling personality and her exciting life story makes required reading for anyone interested in cultural history, as well as the art of biography. Brad Hooper
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Review

“A lively and welcome account of a charismatic woman.” (People)

“A sympathetic and emotionally charged portrait of Mary…[written] with insight and compassion yet without sentimentality.” (Publishers Weekly)

“Absorbing...required reading for anyone interested in cultural history as well as the art of biography.” (Booklist)

“Absorbing...required reading for anyone interested in cultural history as well as the art of biography.” (Kirkus Reviews)

About the Author

Susan Nagel is the author of a critically acclaimed book on the novels of Jean Giraudoux. She has written for the stage, the screen, scholarly journals, the Gannett newspaper chain, and Town & Country. A professor in the humanities department of Marymount Manhattan College, she lives in New York City.

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4.3 out of 54.3 out of 5
47 global ratings

Top reviews from the United States

Lois
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Not A headstrong Woman, But Rather The Original Founder OF The Charm Brigade.
Reviewed in the United States on November 20, 2014
Having read this book I am filled with admiration for the energy and people skills that Mary Elgin not only had, but used so successfully on behalf of her husband, Lord Elgin a British diplomat based in Constantinople. A wealthy heiress, with strong family ties, she seems... See more
Having read this book I am filled with admiration for the energy and people skills that Mary Elgin not only had, but used so successfully on behalf of her husband, Lord Elgin a British diplomat based in Constantinople. A wealthy heiress, with strong family ties, she seems to be the original holder of the ''charm brigade'' award and was loved and feted by all with whom she came into contact. Her most notable conquests however were the Turkish sultans who not only showered her outrageously expensive and exclusive gifts, but who relinquished political advantage and power to the Christian West represented by Lord Elgin. The latter is portrayed as a selfish man who spent not only his own meagre funds, but also those of his wife in order to live in style and build his collection of ancient Greek artifacts. He also was intent on producing an heir and plenty of spares for the future despite his wife''s pleas to the contrary having had to endure four pregnancies in under six years. It was this selfishness, jealousy and arrogance that began to undermine his previously idyllic marriage. Mary turned to his best friend Thomas Ferguson for support and was eventually to marry him after a divorce that rocked British society and which gave Elgin full custody of his children. Mary was devastated at the loss of contact with her children but threw her heart into her relationship with her new husbands illegitimate children. Her new husband became a politician and once again benefitted from Mary''s charm and ability to transcend class, party politics and social convention. Their marriage was an extremely happy partnership based on equal admiration, love and the joy of sex without children !! Mary was definitely a female aristocrat born ahead of her time, but her talents as a hostess, benefactor, social activist and benign landlord are as meaningful today as they were in her time. Please read this book as you will discover a feisty woman who never let bad situations get the better of her, put love of family above all else and who grabbed life by the throat and lived it to the full. This biography is beautifully written and one feels a sense of Mary''s remarkable charm and joie de vivre throughout. One wants to cheer out loud at her successes and provide the hankies when life treats her so unfairly.
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Reid1
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
A Wonderful Biography, so well presented…….
Reviewed in the United States on November 6, 2014
An amazing life story, intriguing, exciting and packed with factual information (, documented by letters and references), the story of the Countess of Elgin reads like a piece of fiction--except it is as true as the author could make it with materials available. I... See more
An amazing life story, intriguing, exciting and packed with factual information (, documented by letters and references), the story
of the Countess of Elgin reads like a piece of fiction--except it is as true as the author could make it with materials available. I had no idea I would be so thrilled with this book when I ordered it but it has to be the most exceptional and factual account of a female aristocrat of her times that I have had the pleasure to read. I am so glad that Susan Nagel took it upon herself to search out this story and that she presented it as she did, giving a portrait not just of Countess Elgin but also details of her adventures and the times she lived in.
Mary Nisbet was a most modern woman, one buried in the annals of history and really not encountered much or by many in other histories. She may have been only remembered by some for "the scandal of her divorce", in itself a very unusual action for her social class but there was so much more to her as an individual--intelligent, progressive and bold . I strongly recommend this book to those that want to get a real understanding of the reality and restrictions embraced by the social structures of European and British history--and the adventures to which some women were exposed during Continental travel in the "best" of society.
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moderatelymoderate
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
food for thought
Reviewed in the United States on March 23, 2013
This biography of Mary Nisbet Bruce Ferguson, first wife of THE Lord Elgin, provides much food for thought. WOMEN''S POSITION -- Mary was lucky in that Scottish, not English, inheritance rules applied in her case. Rather than her parents'' property going to some... See more
This biography of Mary Nisbet Bruce Ferguson, first wife of THE Lord Elgin, provides much food for thought.

WOMEN''S POSITION -- Mary was lucky in that Scottish, not English, inheritance rules applied in her case. Rather than her parents'' property going to some male distant relative, this only child would eventually become unimagionably wealthy.

She was not so lucky in having to deal with an English divorce. She lost control of her 4 children & was unable to see them until they reached adulthood. She loved children & was fortunate in helping raise her 2nd husband''s son & nephew.

And what was the focus of her estrangement with Lord Elgin--her desire to have a break from constant pregnancies. Elgin was unwilling to see what their toll was on her & wouldn''t even consider using condoms. He felt he needed more sons, to make sure they would inheherit his title. His 2nd wife, half his age when they married, had many children, which he found very satisfactory.

MEDICAL PRACTICE -- Blood-letting for illnesses is well known to us, but not about mercury''s use. It was thought to be a general cure-all, used both in ointments and taken internally. Lord Elgin favored both blood-letting & mercury. He lost part of his nose due to mercury, but his and Mary''s son died of mercury poisoning at age 40 and never inherited the title.

What if any common medical practices today will be looked upon the same way 200 years from now?

...................................................

I should also mention that, as the book relies on Mary''s letters to her family for much of the information, it is more vivid in approximately the middle third.
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Top Cat
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Well researched and engaging book about a fascinating woman
Reviewed in the United States on May 2, 2016
I''d visited Greece and wanted to learn more about the "Elgin marbles" and that time in Greece''s history. I''d read the novel "Stealing Athena" which was good but made me want to delve more into the life of Mary Nisbet, the Countess of Elgin. What a life!... See more
I''d visited Greece and wanted to learn more about the "Elgin marbles" and that time in Greece''s history. I''d read the novel "Stealing Athena" which was good but made me want to delve more into the life of Mary Nisbet, the Countess of Elgin. What a life! Without giving too much away, this is a well researched and detailed recounting of an amazing and, in the end, sad life that illustrates the plight of women at the time. Mary Nisbet was an adventuress who tried to live life on her own terms in a day when they had few rights. I was inspired by her story and grateful for pioneers like her who made it possible for me to live a life of freedom.
2 people found this helpful
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Eileen from Austin
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Interesting Read!
Reviewed in the United States on December 3, 2012
This book doesn''t try to be a scholarly tome, studying Mary Nesbit''s life, nor is it a bodice-ripper, revealing tales leading to scandalous divorce. Rather, it''s a good, easy and detailed biography of a rich heiress, mother of five, and adventurous and good natured hottie... See more
This book doesn''t try to be a scholarly tome, studying Mary Nesbit''s life, nor is it a bodice-ripper, revealing tales leading to scandalous divorce. Rather, it''s a good, easy and detailed biography of a rich heiress, mother of five, and adventurous and good natured hottie of her day. Her travels, her family, her clothing and jewels, her meetiings with the great and the good (and, once divorced, the denial of some of those meetings), and her relationship with Lord Elgin make for a page-turning story. I have visited the Elgin marbles several times, but never gave a thought to the woman who really got them to England. Mary even donated a warship to her nation. She demanded that her husband''s purchases make it home, despite misgivings of English captains. She enchanted pashas through her elaborate parties and daring, received precious gifts from admirers, and wrote letters filled with detail that few in her world could ever even imagine. Her return to England is a showcase of the treatment of women in nineteenth century upper class society. A pleasant and satisfying read.
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Marilyn Matheny
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Quite a big story
Reviewed in the United States on October 11, 2014
The story from Mary''s viewpoint. And quite a big story it is. Mary''s money financed the marbles. She troops around after him often pregnant, at sea and on donkey back while he pursues his marbles. She was a charmer who kept great diaries that give us great insight into the... See more
The story from Mary''s viewpoint. And quite a big story it is. Mary''s money financed the marbles. She troops around after him often pregnant, at sea and on donkey back while he pursues his marbles. She was a charmer who kept great diaries that give us great insight into the time and to these events. It ends badly for Lord Elgin and to some extent for her.
2 people found this helpful
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R. Thill
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Five Stars
Reviewed in the United States on July 9, 2018
Yes! read this title 3 times
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Eleanor Skwarok
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Five Stars
Reviewed in the United States on February 1, 2017
A woman of substance before her time. Well written and historically correct.
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Top reviews from other countries

Thomas J. Minogue
2.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Mary Nisbet - Lady Elgin - Deserves Brickbats, not Bouquets
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on November 22, 2016
This book takes a romantic and rather naïve view of Mary Nisbet (Lady Bruce, the Countess of Elgin) which is hardly surprising as it relies heavily on the letters of Mary which were selected and edited carefully by her grandson so as to distort the actions of his ancestor...See more
This book takes a romantic and rather naïve view of Mary Nisbet (Lady Bruce, the Countess of Elgin) which is hardly surprising as it relies heavily on the letters of Mary which were selected and edited carefully by her grandson so as to distort the actions of his ancestor in the most favourable way possible.
One person found this helpful
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Cornflower Collector
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Interesting read.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 28, 2016
Interesting book about an amazing woman who has largely been forgotten by history.
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Amazon Customer
3.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
If you''re into your archeaology then you may be interested ...
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on September 9, 2016
If you''re into your archeaology then you may be interested in the story of the elgin marbles and what happened to them.
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Sya
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
FASCINATING & INFORMATIVE
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on June 19, 2015
Fascinating story, a true blend of history, romance and insight into past social lives on an international stage. An interesting and informative read.
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Dr Dorothy Lobel King
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Gripping biography of a fascinating woman
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on May 8, 2004
Although this book is not yet published, I have been lucky enough to read an advance copy, and it is a gripping biography of Mary Elgin, a fascinating woman. The book covers Mary''s short marriage to Lord Elgin, who was the British Ambassador to the Porte in Constantinople...See more
Although this book is not yet published, I have been lucky enough to read an advance copy, and it is a gripping biography of Mary Elgin, a fascinating woman. The book covers Mary''s short marriage to Lord Elgin, who was the British Ambassador to the Porte in Constantinople and the man who saved the Parthenon marbles from destruction by bringing them back to London, where they are now housed in the British Museum. Although the Elgin Marbles are much discussed, this is the first biography of Mary Elgin, an educated, passionate, funny woman whose letters are a delight to read.
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