cover van 'Peter James Bowman | The  fortune hunter'

The fortune hunter

a German prince in regency England 

The two decades after Waterloo marked the great age of foreign fortune hunters in England. Each year brought a new influx of impecunious Continental noblemen to the world's richest country, and the more brides they carried off, the more alarmed society became. The most colourful of these men was Prince Hermann von Puckler-Muskau (1785-1871), remembered today as Germany's finest landscape gardener. In the mid-1820s, however, his efforts to turn his estate into a magnificent park came close to bankrupting him. To save his legacy his wife Lucie devised an unusual plan: they would divorce so that Puckler could marry an heiress who would finance further landscaping and, after a decent interval, be cajoled into accepting Lucie's continued residence. In September 1826, his marriage dissolved, Puckler set off for London. Drawing on the daily letters sent from England to his ex-wife and other manuscript sources in the Puckler Archive in Brandenburg, Peter James Bowman gives blow-by-blow accounts of Puckler's courtships with the daughters of a physician, an admiral, a Scottish baronet, an East India Company stockholder and a retail jeweller.

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