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Five Sisters

Five Sisters

The Langhornes of Virginia

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The beautiful Langhorne sisters lived at the pinnacle of society from the end of the Civil War through the Second World War. Born in Virginia to a family impoverished by the Civil War, Lizzie, Irene, Nancy, Phyllis, and Nora eventually made their way across two continents, leaving rich husbands, fame, adoration, and scandal in their wake.
At the center of the story is Nancy, who married Waldorf Astor, one of the richest men in the world. Heroic, hilarious, magnetically charming, and a bully, Nancy became Britain's first female MP. The beautiful Irene married Charles Dana Gibson and was the model for the Gibson Girl. Phyllis, the author's grandmother, married a famous economist, one of the architects of modern Europe. Author James Fox draws on the sisters' unpublished correspondence to construct an intimate and sweeping account of five extraordinary women at the highest reaches of society.
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  • Simon & Schuster | 
  • 496 pages | 
  • ISBN 9780743200424 | 
  • May 2001
List Price $18.00
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Read an Excerpt

Chapter One: The Langhornes

The Langhorne sisters of Virginia were a phenomenon in America, in the South and then in the North, long before the third of Chillie Langhorne's five daughters crossed the Atlantic and became, as Nancy Astor, in 1919, the first woman to take her seat in the British Parliament. For a decade or two after that, she was probably the most famous woman in the world. Nancy, in turn, had grown up in the shadow of her elder sister Irene. It was Irene who had first projected the sisterhood into the public imagination when she emerged in 1890 in Virginia, aged seventeen, as the last great Southern Belle; two years later,... see more



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