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Mistress of the Elgin Marbles: A Biography of Mary Nisbet, Countess of Elgin download epub

by Susan Nagel


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Mary Hamilton Bruce, Countess of Elgin (née Nisbet; 18 April 1778 – 9 July 1855) was the first wife of British diplomat Thomas Bruce, 7th Earl of Elgin during his term as Ambassador Extraordinaire to the Ottoman Empire and one of the most influential.

Mary Hamilton Bruce, Countess of Elgin (née Nisbet; 18 April 1778 – 9 July 1855) was the first wife of British diplomat Thomas Bruce, 7th Earl of Elgin during his term as Ambassador Extraordinaire to the Ottoman Empire and one of the most influential and wealthiest heiresses of the late 18th and early 19th century. Mary Hamilton Nisbet was born on 18 April 1778 in Dirleton.

The remarkable Mary Nisbet was the Countess of Elgin in Romantic-era Scotland and the wife of the seventh Earl of Elgin. When Mary accompanied her husband to diplomatic duty in Turkey, she changed history. She helped bring the smallpox vaccine to the Middle East, struck a seemingly impossible deal with Napoleon, and arranged the removal of famous marbles from the The remarkable Mary Nisbet was the Countess of Elgin in Romantic-era Scotland and the wife of the seventh Earl of Elgin. Susan Nagel is the author of a critically acclaimed book on the novels of Jean Giraudoux

The remarkable Mary Nisbet was the Countess of Elgin in Romantic-era Scotland and the wife of the seventh Earl of Elgin. When Mary accompanied her husband to diplomatic duty in Turkey. Susan Nagel is the author of a critically acclaimed book on the novels of Jean Giraudoux. She has written for the stage, the screen, scholarly journals, the Gannett newspaper chain, and Town & Country. A professor in the humanities department of Marymount Manhattan College, she lives in New York City. She helped bring the smallpox vaccine to the Middle East, struck a seemingly impossible deal with Napoleon, and arranged the removal of famous marbles from the Parthenon. But all of her accomplishments would be overshadowed, however, by her scandalous divorce. Drawing from Mary's own letters, scholar Susan Nagel tells Mary's enthralling, inspiring, and suspenseful story in vibrant. Although the book is full of name dropping and is the author rather brief in explaining mayor issues. I found it a enjoyable read.

Ferguson, Mary Nisbet, 1777-1855, Elgin, Thomas Bruce, Earl of, 1766-1841, Diplomats' spouses, Elgin marbles. New York : William Morrow. Books for People with Print Disabilities. Internet Archive Books.

For Hadley, my only and beloved child

For Hadley, my only and beloved child. 1799 French Directorate falls: Napoleon made first consul; Mary Nisbet of Dirleton marries Thomas Bruce, 7th Earl of Elgin and 11th Earl of Kincardine and they depart for Turkey. 1800 England enacts Union with Ireland; Battles of Alexandria and Marengo; George Constantine, Lord Bruce, born in Turkey on April 5.

Filled with romance, danger, and scandal, Mistress of the Elgin Marbles is the intriguing story of Mary Nisbet, the Countess of Elgin -- one of the most influential women of the Romantic era whose exploits enriched world culture immeasurably. The richest heiress in Scotland and the wife of accomplished diplomat Thomas Bruce, the 7th Earl of Elgin, she traveled to Turkey when Elgin was appointed the Ambassador Extraordinaire to the Ottoman Empire -- a journey that would change history.

Interweaving extensive details gleaned from primary sources and excerpts from the countess's own letters, Susan Nagel draws a vivid portrait of this formidable woman who helped bring the smallpox vaccine to the Middle East, financed the removal and safe passage to England of classical marbles from the Parthenon, and struck a deal with Napoleon that no politician could have accomplished. Yet, as Nagel shows, those achievements were overshadowed by scandal when Mary's passionate affair with her husband's best friend flamed into the most lurid and salacious divorce trial in London's history. Lively and informative, this is an engrossing story of an astonishing woman who both defined and shaped an era.


Comments: (7)

Kahavor
Having read this book I am filled with admiration for the energy and people skills that Mary Elgin not only had, but used so successfully on behalf of her husband, Lord Elgin a British diplomat based in Constantinople. A wealthy heiress, with strong family ties, she seems to be the original holder of the 'charm brigade' award and was loved and feted by all with whom she came into contact. Her most notable conquests however were the Turkish sultans who not only showered her outrageously expensive and exclusive gifts, but who relinquished political advantage and power to the Christian West represented by Lord Elgin. The latter is portrayed as a selfish man who spent not only his own meagre funds, but also those of his wife in order to live in style and build his collection of ancient Greek artifacts. He also was intent on producing an heir and plenty of spares for the future despite his wife's pleas to the contrary having had to endure four pregnancies in under six years. It was this selfishness, jealousy and arrogance that began to undermine his previously idyllic marriage. Mary turned to his best friend Thomas Ferguson for support and was eventually to marry him after a divorce that rocked British society and which gave Elgin full custody of his children. Mary was devastated at the loss of contact with her children but threw her heart into her relationship with her new husbands illegitimate children. Her new husband became a politician and once again benefitted from Mary's charm and ability to transcend class, party politics and social convention. Their marriage was an extremely happy partnership based on equal admiration, love and the joy of sex without children !! Mary was definitely a female aristocrat born ahead of her time, but her talents as a hostess, benefactor, social activist and benign landlord are as meaningful today as they were in her time. Please read this book as you will discover a feisty woman who never let bad situations get the better of her, put love of family above all else and who grabbed life by the throat and lived it to the full. This biography is beautifully written and one feels a sense of Mary's remarkable charm and joie de vivre throughout. One wants to cheer out loud at her successes and provide the hankies when life treats her so unfairly.
Shalinrad
An amazing life story, intriguing, exciting and packed with factual information (, documented by letters and references), the story
of the Countess of Elgin reads like a piece of fiction--except it is as true as the author could make it with materials available. I had no idea I would be so thrilled with this book when I ordered it but it has to be the most exceptional and factual account of a female aristocrat of her times that I have had the pleasure to read. I am so glad that Susan Nagel took it upon herself to search out this story and that she presented it as she did, giving a portrait not just of Countess Elgin but also details of her adventures and the times she lived in.
Mary Nisbet was a most modern woman, one buried in the annals of history and really not encountered much or by many in other histories. She may have been only remembered by some for "the scandal of her divorce", in itself a very unusual action for her social class but there was so much more to her as an individual--intelligent, progressive and bold . I strongly recommend this book to those that want to get a real understanding of the reality and restrictions embraced by the social structures of European and British history--and the adventures to which some women were exposed during Continental travel in the "best" of society.
Super P
I'd visited Greece and wanted to learn more about the "Elgin marbles" and that time in Greece's history. I'd read the novel "Stealing Athena" which was good but made me want to delve more into the life of Mary Nisbet, the Countess of Elgin. What a life! Without giving too much away, this is a well researched and detailed recounting of an amazing and, in the end, sad life that illustrates the plight of women at the time. Mary Nisbet was an adventuress who tried to live life on her own terms in a day when they had few rights. I was inspired by her story and grateful for pioneers like her who made it possible for me to live a life of freedom.
Kitaxe
This biography of Mary Nisbet Bruce Ferguson, first wife of THE Lord Elgin, provides much food for thought.

WOMEN'S POSITION -- Mary was lucky in that Scottish, not English, inheritance rules applied in her case. Rather than her parents' property going to some male distant relative, this only child would eventually become unimagionably wealthy.

She was not so lucky in having to deal with an English divorce. She lost control of her 4 children & was unable to see them until they reached adulthood. She loved children & was fortunate in helping raise her 2nd husband's son & nephew.

And what was the focus of her estrangement with Lord Elgin--her desire to have a break from constant pregnancies. Elgin was unwilling to see what their toll was on her & wouldn't even consider using condoms. He felt he needed more sons, to make sure they would inheherit his title. His 2nd wife, half his age when they married, had many children, which he found very satisfactory.

MEDICAL PRACTICE -- Blood-letting for illnesses is well known to us, but not about mercury's use. It was thought to be a general cure-all, used both in ointments and taken internally. Lord Elgin favored both blood-letting & mercury. He lost part of his nose due to mercury, but his and Mary's son died of mercury poisoning at age 40 and never inherited the title.

What if any common medical practices today will be looked upon the same way 200 years from now?

...................................................

I should also mention that, as the book relies on Mary's letters to her family for much of the information, it is more vivid in approximately the middle third.
Mistress of the Elgin Marbles: A Biography of Mary Nisbet, Countess of Elgin download epub
Historical
Author: Susan Nagel
ISBN: 0060545542
Category: Biographies & Memoris
Subcategory: Historical
Language: English
Publisher: William Morrow; First Edition first Printing edition (August 10, 2004)
Pages: 320 pages