The Ten Best History Books of 2019Historians in the News
tags: books, Holiday 2019
The history books we loved most in 2019 span centuries, nations and wars. From womanhood to nationhood, they challenge the construction of identity and mythology. They tell the stories of celebrity weddings, bootlegging trials, and people, places and things we thought we knew but prove, upon closer inspection, to be far more complex.
When Consuelo Vanderbilt of the wealthy American Vanderbilt family married the Duke of Marlborough in 1895, she was one of the most famous debutantes in the world, at a time when interest in the doings of the rich had never been more scrutinized. Consuelo had spent her whole life training to marry a royal, and the event itself was covered in major newspapers across the globe. In The Season: A Social History of the Debutante, author Kristen Richardson contextualizes Consuelo and her wedding—and those of other famous debutantes, or young women making their societal debut, from the 1600s to today. The book is a centuries-spanning look at how debutantes and their rituals, from the antebellum South to modern-day Russia, have shaped marriage and womanhood in America and abroad.
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