Actually the money that was brought in by these heiresses was often used to upgrade and fix up the old crumbling houses of the aristocracy, including putting in plumbing and heating in some cases. Also one might argue that these heiresses often sought lovers and had affairs as a normal course of affairs in their lives and they had access to extensive European travel which was much more interesting and cultured than living in America. Finally getting married in America to a rich guy in business wasn’t exactly the road to eternal happiness, in fact marriage was a crap shoot no matter who you married since women had few rights in those days and rarely had control of their own money. At least in the aristocracy there were ways were women’s money could be protected And wealthy women often had a great deal of autonomy especially if they also had a title

Historically Curious, Queer, Aging, Anglophile, World traveler, lifetime researcher with a sarcastic bent

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