Analysis Of Consuelo Vanderbilt 's ' The Glitter And The Gold '

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Consuelo Vanderbilt’s memoir, The Glitter and the Gold, provides an insightful recollection of life both in and around the English country house of the late nineteenth century. While there is a multiplicity of themes in the short passage on pages 88 and 89, this essay will specifically focus on the themes of international influence – including the presence of the American “dollar princess” – as well as the long-lasting effects of tradition, in regards to the importance of social hierarchy and ancestry. One other theme that also seems to resonate throughout is the prestige of the British Empire. What these themes reveal is the way the country house was saturated by the influences of both the modern and the traditional, especially since the country house lifestyle that Vanderbilt experienced was during a time of rapid change at the turn of the twentieth-century. One signifier of this change was a growing internationalist attitude in regards to the implementation of foreign practices. Many instances of foreign influence in this section of Vanderbilt’s memoir appear not only in regards to the overall features of the country house, but also in aspects related to the dinner itself, such as the seating arrangement and food. In the first sentence, Vanderbilt described how she would receive and entertain the guests in the Italian garden of Blenheim until dinnertime. The Italian influence on the garden must have been used to not only showcase the country house owner’s knowledge on

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