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My Last Duchess (English Edition) von [Goodwin, Daisy]
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Kindle Storyteller 2016: Der Deutsche Self Publishing Award
Kindle Storyteller 2016: Der Deutsche Self Publishing Award
Von 15. Juni bis 15. September Buch hochladen und tollen Preis gewinnen Jetzt entdecken


A Q&A with Daisy Goodwin

Q: How would you sum up your book in one line to a curious Amazon customer?

A: It's about love and money and whether you can ever separate the two--plus it gives you the skinny on country-house life at the end of the nineteenth century.

Q: What drew you to the period in which you have set My Last Duchess?

A: I studied history at university and I have always been fascinated by the fin de siècle period which has so many parallels with our own. I started writing the book at the height of the boom but 21st century billionaires are tame in comparison with the Americans of the Gilded Age--the Astors, the Vanderbilts and the Carnegies. The American super-rich lived like kings, if not better than kings. Consuelo Vanderbilt who married the Duke of Marlborough in 1895 couldn't get over how primitive the plumbing was at Windsor Castle. I had enormous fun researching this book--one of the most unusual things I discovered was the fashion for tattoos among British aristocrats male and female. 

Q: How did the character of Cora take shape for you?

A: There is quite a bit of me in Cora, although sadly I am not an heiress to vast wealth or a Duchess (yet), but I do understand what it is like to live with an overbearing parent. I was interested in writing about a character who can never be sure whether she is loved for herself or for her money. It is easier to write a novel where you are taking a character from one culture and putting them in another--Cora is an American princess but she doesn’t know how to navigate English high society. But she is not a passive heroine, I like the fact that she fights back.

Q: And what about that of the Duke?

A: The Duke is the ultimate in unreliable men. I think all men are shaped by their relationship with their mothers and Ivo has a particularly stormy one with the Double Duchess. I wanted to write about a man who is impatient with his own faults but doesn’t quite know how to overcome them. His relationship with Cora is about more than money – she is the one person in his life who is genuinely fearless.

Q: What can readers look forward to next from you?

A: I am writing another novel set in the nineteenth century. It is about a love triangle between a man, his fiancée and the Empress of Austria and is based on a true story.

Q: What do you enjoy reading?

A: Everything! Although having said that, when I judged the Orange Prize this year I found myself tiring of books with info dumps ('look here is my research!') or ones based on undigested personal tragedy. There are certain authors I return to again and again: Evelyn Waugh, Edith Wharton, Graham Greene, P.G. Wodehouse, Barbara Pym--I would give a great deal to be able to write like that. Living writers I admire include Margaret Atwood, Barbara Kingsolver, Lorrie Moore, Hilary Mantel  and Julian Barnes. I enjoy a really good crime novel--I  like C.J Sansom, Josephine Tey, Sophie Hannah and Jason Goodwin. And I read a lot of poetry--I don't have a favourite poet but I love Carol Ann Duffy, Wendy Cope, Robert Browning, Billy Collins and Byron to name but a few.

Q: What advice would you give to aspiring authors?

A: I didn’t start writing properly until I was in my forties although I had always wanted to be a novelist. I think what stopped me was my own perfectionism. I think Winston Churchill said, 'Don't let perfection stand in the way of the good'. When I actually sat down to start writing, as opposed to fantasising about it, it was surprisingly easy. On a good day it feels like I am tapping into something subconscious; quite often I will read back what I have written and think, did I write that? I work full time running a TV production company so when I find the time to write I have to be really disciplined--I won't let myself get up until I have written a thousand words. I can write anywhere so long as I have my noise cancelling headphones, I always listen to music when I write--Mozart or Bach is the best music to write by.

Q: Tell us something unusual about yourself.

A: I failed my driving test thirteen times. I have now passed and am really quite a competent driver, so it just goes to show that persistence in life is everything.

Recommended Reading from Daisy Goodwin

The Good Soldier by Ford Madox Ford: One of the most brilliantly put together books I have ever read. Full of twists and turns. Every time I read it I notice something else.
Couch Fiction by Philippa Perry: This is a graphic novel about therapy, which sounds weird but actually works really well. Compulsory reading for anyone who has ever considered therapy. A clear, funny look at what therapists do.
The Janissary Tree by Jason Goodwin: This is the first in a series of detective stories set in nineteenth century Istanbul featuring the eunuch detective Yashim. Beautifully written and deftly plotted. I would say this even if he wasn't my brother.

A Glass of Blessings
by Barbara Pym: I love Barbara Pym and this is her absolute best. I think she is one of the few novelists to rival Jane Austen for comic timing and razor-sharp social comedy.
See more of Daisy's favourite reads in Author's Choice


'Sparkling and thoroughly engaging...the story of a poor little rich girl learning the hard way how to concentrate on the next step along the tightrope makes for a highly enjoyable and intelligent read' The Sunday Times 'Daisy Goodwin's debut novel is a delightful confection - a clash of cultures set in late 19th-century England, embellished with the glittering lavishness that the period implies' Marie Claire 'Anyone suffering Downton Abbey withdrawal symptoms (who isn't?) will find an instant tonic in Daisy Goodwin's My Last Duchess...this is a deliciously evocative first novel that lingers in the mind. Henry James with belles on' Allison Pearson, Telegraph, Books of the Year for Christmas


  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • Dateigröße: 2411 KB
  • Seitenzahl der Print-Ausgabe: 482 Seiten
  • Verlag: Review (19. August 2010)
  • Verkauf durch: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Sprache: Englisch
  • ISBN-10: 0755348060
  • ISBN-13: 978-0755348060
  • ASIN: B0049MPKGO
  • Text-to-Speech (Vorlesemodus): Aktiviert
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Aktiviert
  • Verbesserter Schriftsatz: Aktiviert
  • Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 5.0 von 5 Sternen 1 Kundenrezension
  • Amazon Bestseller-Rang: #166.110 Bezahlt in Kindle-Shop (Siehe Top 100 Bezahlt in Kindle-Shop)

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Format: Kindle Edition Verifizierter Kauf
Ich habe dieses Buch als "Kindle Deal des Tages" erworbenen und zunächst geglaubt, dass es sich um eine relative leichte Lektüren a' la Barbara Cartland handele. Weit gefehlt. Der Roman hat wesentlich mehr Tiefgang und beschreibt sehr spannend und anschaulich, wie die Tochter einer ultrareichen amerikanischen Industriellenfamilie durch die Heirat mit einem englischen Adligen in die englische Gesellschaft des find de siecle gerät, wo sie mit Intelligenz und Geschick mit den ganzen Fussangeln klar kommen muss, die sich vor ihr auf tun.
Im Anschluß habe ich die Autobiographie von Consuelo Vanderbilt heruntergeladen,Glitter and the Gold, die sicherlich als Grundlage zu diesem Buch gedient hat. Als Tochter einer Eisenbahn-Königs wurde sie mit dem Earl of Marlborough verheiratet, dem engen Verwandten von Winston Churchill, wo sie als Herrin auf Blenheim Palace agieren musste. Hier bekommt man alles noch einmal aus erfahrenem Munde geschildert und die Bestätigung, dass das Buch "My Last Duchess" sehr wohl excellent recherchiert ist. Beide Bücher im Doppelpack sind überaus lesenswert.
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Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen auf (beta) 3.7 von 5 Sternen 27 Rezensionen
21 von 22 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen The American Heiress 19. Juni 2011
Von Sorrows - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf
This is the earlier (and British) version of The American Heiress; otherwise they are exactly the same--including the cover art. I think it's only fair that Amazon readers know this.

Heavily inspired by the story of Consuelo Vanderbilt, right down to the newspaper articles about her wedding, it's a good and engrossing read about a time period which, IMHO, is shockingly neglected. The British author has done her research, although she gets some very minor details wrong on the American side of the Atlantic. It's interesting that she not only tells us the story of this "dollar princess" but her maid, mother, mother-in-law, among others. Light reading, perhaps, but definitely not just another romance. And it's being released just in time for the beach!
11 von 11 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Amazing 7. Juli 2011
Von Blue Rose - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Taschenbuch
This book was so good, it was hard to believe that this author hasn't been writing novels for decades. It's the story of Cora, a rich American girl, whose purpose in life appears to be to marry well. Cora is spoiled, and well aware of her own beauty and the attraction of her wealth. Her life is dictated by her overbearing mother, who envisions the grandest marriage possible. My first thoughts were that there was no way I could ever like Cora. As the story progressed, I began to see that Cora had some redeeming qualities, as well. When her season doesn't produce the desired marriage, mama takes Cora to England, where she accidentally (literally) encounters a duke. This duke (Ivo) doesn't fawn over Cora, and her interest is piqued. Ivo is handsome, available, in need of money, and harboring secrets. Cora begins to fall for him, and isn't shy about letting him know. He appears to have a genuine liking for her, as well as passionate feelings, and they agree to marry. Cora is in love, and happy because she was able to have both love and the great titled match. However, when Ivo comes to America for the wedding, he is told by Cora's father that Cora will retain control of the pursestrings. Ivo's pride is dealt a serious blow and he disappears for days, only just reappearing for the wedding. Still, they marry, and have a lovely honeymoon. Upon returning to England, a person from Ivo's past intrudes, and causes problems in their marriage. At times, I wanted to shake Cora, and ask her why she couldn't see what was happening. Following this is a separation, public humiliation, and secrets revealed. They have much to work through to see if their marriage and love can survive. This story was engrossing and extremely well written. Highly recommended.
3 von 3 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen My Last Duchess 20. Juli 2011
Von Amazon Customer - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf
Wow! What a great book. Ms. Goodwin is not one to use the old formula most of these novels employ. No overplay on clever bon mots, no boy meets girl, girl rejects boy, etc., etc. foolishness that I sometimes just skip over in the book to get to the action and consequence of the story. Here an expert tells you the story from top to bottom so that you feel that you are a part of what is going on. Seeing through the heroine's eyes is for once free of giddy girl cloudiness that sometimes pervades these romance novels (I call them adult fairy tales) because of their "happily ever after" conclusions. But here, the ending is so skillfully drawn, so touchingly smart and sentimental at the same time, that I wanted to read the whole book again. I hope to read more of Ms. Goodwin. She is a wonderful storyteller.
3 von 3 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen Loved every page! 10. August 2011
Von Linda Sue - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf
I loved every page of "My Last Duchess." The very last page is "Not the End" leading one to believe there will be a sequel. The copyright of my book is 2010 so when I saw "The American Heiress" listed with the later copyright of June 21, 2011, I downloaded it on my Kindle and began to read only to realize it is the same book!

I love the way the characters come alive and can't waited for Ms Goodwin to write the sequel!
1 von 1 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen Slow Burning Read 26. Oktober 2013
Von Deborah Porter - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Kindle Edition
My Last Duchess took quite a while for me to read. No real fault of the story but more to do with the fact that it was a paperback and not my preferred ebook format. Even so, if the story had been a page turner I would have been going back to it regardless. I don't think anyone could class this in the page turner category. But, having said that, every time I picked it back up I was able to easily get back into Cora's story. It was a comfortable, non-demanding trip back in time.

The development of the story was slow (which you may have guessed from my not so subtle page turner comment above). Also, not much happens as the story progresses. A few parts caught my attention, such as the lead up to the big wedding and, later, the upset over Cora's naïveté regarding her gift of a slightly provocative portrait to her new husband, Ivo. But then nothing really happened. A bit of tension, some stiff upper lip arguments, and life goes on with the new Duchess continually being left off balance in her new role and relationship.

So you may be wondering why on earth I felt led to give this novel four stars? To be honest, it's probably closer to 3.5 stars, but definitely worth more then 3. As slow as it was, and as lacking in any real fire until the final chapters, I still enjoyed it for the most part. I felt for this young heiress being thrown into a marriage of some convenience (at least, that's how it appears from the Duke's point of view). The introduction of the Prince of Wales also added a bit of extra interest.

After such a slow burn, the ending felt like everything was resolved very suddenly. All very neat, and perhaps a bit lacking in enough explanation for the Duke's snotty behaviour toward his bride through so much of the book (even right up to the final chapters). And yet, I was satisfied with the way it finished.

So if you are a reader who likes fast moving novels with lots of activity and conflict, this is not for you. On the other hand, if you enjoy a slow paced, relatively low action novel set in years gone by, with no real plot surprises, this may appeal. I enjoyed it ... but I probably won't ever read it again.
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