KEEPING UP WITH THE JEROMES

Meet the Victorians’ answer to the Kardashian sisters

Consider this: Three sisters, daughters of a hardworking, doting father and a pushy, socially ambitious mother. All three live their lives in the brilliant glare of society, make disastrous marriages ‘for love’ etc. Remind you of anyone?

It’s the Kardashian sisters OH NO WAIT it’s the JEROME sisters!!! That’s Jennie, Clara and Leonie, sassy 19th century American socialites who all married into the British aristocracy, with Jennie making the most glittering match of all as the wife of Lord Randolph Churchill and mother of Winston.

jerome sisters

These megababes were talented in all the feminine arts, from piano-playing, riding and dancing to making pleasant chit chat and, of course, appearing highly decorative. You can read all about them in Elizabeth Kehoe’s fascinating book, Fortune’s Daughters: The Extravagant Lives of the Jerome Sisters.

Kim is Jennie, the most famous, glamorous and beautiful of the three sisters who lived most of her life in the spotlight and whose tastes were much commented on and copied. Jennie was said to have had numerous affairs with some of the most powerful men of the age, including the Prince of Wales, later King Edward VII. Kim had Ray J and Khris Humphries so Jennie’s probably winning on this front. Kim has three marriages to Jennie’s two, but all were love matches, impulsively rushed into and in some cases, regretted.

Whether little North West will turn out to be a twenty-first century Winston Churchill remains to be seen, but there is definitely a resemblance between Kanye West and Winston’s charismatic, powerful, (and should I mention possibly syphilitic? Imma not let myself finish) father Lord Randolph.

kardashians

Kourtney reminds me of Clara, naive, romantic, married to a hopeless dreamer and schemer who can’t stick to anything and is incredibly smooth, charming and persuasive but with a bit of a dark side. Oh, right, that’s Scott…

And finally, Khloe is Leonie, the most sensible of the three who married once for love, wasn’t quite as pretty as her sisters but was very down to earth, generous and popular.

So what can we learn from this sketchy Komparison (sorry)? That people will always be fascinated by that potent combination of beauty, money and scandal. That families stick together through thick and thin and ill-advised 72-day marriages. And that there’s no force greater than an amibitious mother (see also: Mrs Bennett).

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phoebe

Co-founder and co-editor of Pamflet. Bookworm, bluestocking, Brown Owl. Loves Garconnes style, reading, writing, ranting and raving. Gin snob.
About phoebe:

Co-founder and co-editor of Pamflet. Bookworm, bluestocking, Brown Owl. Loves Garconnes style, reading, writing, ranting and raving. Gin snob.

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