Wedlock : How Georgian Britain's Worst Husband Met His Match

3.85 (1,300 ratings by Goodreads)
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WEDLOCK is the remarkable story of the Countess of Strathmore and her marriage to Andrew Robinson Stoney. Mary Eleanor Bowes was one of Britain's richest young heiresses. She married the Count of Strathmore who died young, and pregnant with her lover's child, Mary became engaged to George Gray. Then in swooped Andrew Robinson Stoney. Mary was bowled over and married him within the week.But nothing was as it seemed. Stoney was broke, and his pursuit of the wealthy Countess a calculated ploy. Once married to Mary, he embarked on years of ill treatment, seizing her lands, beating her, terrorising servants, introducing prostitutes to the family home, kidnapping his own sister. But finally after many years, a servant helped Mary to escape. She began a high-profile divorce case that was the scandal of the day and was successful. But then Andrew kidnapped her and undertook a week-long rampage of terror and cruelty until the law finally caught up with more

Product details

  • Paperback | 512 pages
  • 128 x 196 x 36mm | 358.34g
  • Orion Publishing Co
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0753828251
  • 9780753828250
  • 72,612

About Wendy Moore

Wendy Moore is a freelance journalist and author. Her work had been published in numerous national newspapers and magazines and has won several awards Her first book KNIFE MAN: THE EXTRAORDINARY LIFE AND TIMES OF JOHN HUNTER, FATHER OF MODERN SURGERY, won the Medical Journalists' Association Consumer Book Award in 2005 and was shortlisted for both Saltire and the Marsh Biography Awards. Her Second book. WEDLOCK: HOW GEORGIAN BRITAIN'S WORST HUSBAND MET HIS MATCH, has been highly acclaimed in reviews and was chosen as one of the ten titles in the Channel 4 TV Book Club. She lives in London with her husband Pete and two children, Sam and Susie.Visit Wendy Moore's website at and follow her on Twitter more

Review quote

Moore paints a fresh, vivid picture of the age * GOOD BOOK GUIDE * rip-roaring * SUNDAY EVENING POST * This lurid tale of high-society sadism grips from the first page. * INDEPENDENT * gripping and meticulous * DAILY TELEGRAPH * Beginning with a bloody duel and the deathbed marriage of one of the combatants, this torrent of a biography sweeps the reader along... Mary's prolonged, audacious struggle to extricate herself from this marriage is a natch for Hollywood. * INDEPENDENT * 'Wendy Moore tells her tale with gusto' * SUNDAY TELEGRAPH * 'Moore fashions a gripping narrative' * SUNDAY TIMES * Moore, mistress of suspense, writes in the gripping language of a thriller...This book has it all - the blackest of villains, the strongest friendship, kidnap, abortions, riches and all completely true. * OBSERVER * Biography needs more Wendy Moores * NEW YORK TIMES * Gallops headlong towards an unbelievably tense denouement which any work of Hollywood fiction would struggle to match * SCOTLAND ON SUNDAY * Moore has meticulously constructed an ever more compelling tale * GUARDIAN * Mary's escape, her abduction by Stoney and dramatic rescue are grippingly told * INDEPENDENT * Mesmerising . . . entertainingly digressive and rigorously researched * FINANCIAL TIMES * How Mary, with the help of a loyal servant, struggled to escape Stoney's clutches is the breathless and inspirational climax of this fine book * TIMES * The remarkable story of one woman's triumph over years of appalling violence and abuse * DAILY EXPRESS * Wedlock is the best biography that I have read in a long time. It's gripping, addictive and painstakingly researched * MAIL ON SUNDAY * This splendid book, well researched and richly detailed, is as gripping as any novel * DAILY TELEGRAPH *show more

Rating details

1,300 ratings
3.85 out of 5 stars
5 29% (382)
4 38% (488)
3 25% (319)
2 6% (78)
1 3% (33)

Our customer reviews

I have Just finished this fascinating book written by Wendy Moore, about the disastrous marriage of Lady Mary Eleanor Bowes an extremely rich heiress from the Georgian era. It tells the true story of her marriage to Andrew Stoney ( an officer on half pay in the Army). He was after her vast fortune. The marriage can only be described as horrendous. Mary was tricked into the marriage by Stoney on the pretext that he was about to die from wounds received in a sham duel fought over her. As he only appeared to have days left to live and out of a sense of duty Mary consented to the marriage (even though she was engaged to be married to someone else at the time!) Then low and behold Stoney had a miraculous recovery when the marriage was finalised . He changed from a seeingly honourable and kindly man into what can only be described as a psychopath, unbelievably cruel and conniving, and what is even more scarey he had the law on his side for the most part! As women of the time had very few rights, once married every thing they had reverted to their husbands control. He beat her constantly, paraded his numerous mistresses in front of her, witheld food and clothing from her, so she was half starved and hardly any better dressed than the lowest maid. He inherited her very large estate and ruined her lifes work (she was a well renowned botonist, and had wonderful gardens and grounds) He raped numerous servants engaged to look after the children and had so many illegitimate children he lost track of them! she endured 8 years of constant torment from him before a new maid was engaged called Mary Morgan who proved to be the greatest friend that Mary Eleanor could ever have had along with 3 other servants who helped her eventually to escape. Mary's ordeal was not over yet though, she was kidnapped and dragged through the countryside for 3 months which was nearly the death of her. It took a full 2 years of constantly looking over her shoulder and legal wrangling to finally get free of the monster she had married. The book was an excellently researched by the author and although contains a lot of notes and bibliography it is a very enjoyable read, giving you an insight into Georgian England, duels, divorce and so on. It shows us how far we have come in the past 200 years since then. I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in the social history of this country, or even if you enjoy an fantastically good more
by Penny Cunningham
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