Cover Image: An American Princess

An American Princess

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Member Reviews

Overall, An American Princess was a well written and researched work but there are a few quibbles I have with it.

First, I finished the book without really knowing who Allene Tew was as a person. There were little first person accounts/sources cited that I think would have added some dimension to her character. This may be because they have been lost to time, and not a fault of the author's choices.

Second, I feel like the latter part of the book was rushed, with less detail into the life Tew led with her last husband. I also found the detail around the settling of her estate (including a prolonged legal battle) a bit confusing. 

If you like reading about America and the privileged class after the Golden Age and the early 20th century, you'll enjoy most of this read.
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More than being a Princess (she was for a time being married to a Prince) her life was much more colorful and interesting than being a mere princess.

Born into a pioneering family in a very raw part of the country, Allene Tew aspired for a world much beyond the narrow confines of a conservative, traditional family of modest means. Her first step was her marriage to Tod Hottstetter and though opposed and ostracized for years, she was one determined young lady to show everyone that she was not one to shirk from the first hurdle. Going on after his unexpected death to even better and wider horizons she was astute and clever in business, always expanding her business, landing on her feet and despite the Great Depression made and lost and regained fortunes.

Personal sadness in spades did not diminish this woman and for readers who enjoy history this would be a very good read of a period of American history from the 1800s to beyond the crash of 1929. Detailing her various husbands, their characters and the role they played in her life took up a great part of the book.

Interesting factual read.
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Allene Tew was a beautiful girl from Jamestown, New York, who wanted nothing more than to escape the provincial backwater. She met dashing Tod Hotstetter, got pregant out of wedlock and married him. She discovered that, to her surprised, he was heir to one of the wealthiest families in the country. She also discovered that he had an exteme gambling problem. Their first child died in infancy, and they had two more children before his death after twelve years of marriage.

After she was widowed, Allene packed her bags. She and her children moved to New York, and she never looked back. Two years later, she married a wealthy stockbrocker. Sadly, the marriage only lasted one year.

Allene married a third time, this time to an extremely wealthy engineer. They built their dream home, and this was probably the happiest time of her life. It was also the saddest time in her life: she lost her son to a World War I plane crash and her daughter to influenza. Both died in the same week. She also lost her husband in 1927.

Allene married  two more  timed. Husband number four was a minor German prince, and husband number five was a Russian count. Boyh men married her for her money.

Although Allene was connected to many of the royal families, and counted many celebrities among her friends, she died alone, in winter, living in an uninsulated villa in the French Riviera.

I would recommend this title to anyone looking for a light biography, particularly, a biography of someone listed in the Social Register.

In the interest of full disclosure, I received a free digital copy of this title to review from Net Galley.

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This was a rather dry recounting of history.  I learned a lot about this period of time, but I never felt a connection to Allene.  She was just a random person but did not invoke any emotion on my part.

The author's research was well done, but the presentation was lacking.

Thank you to NetGalley and AmazonCrossing for an ARC in exchange for my honest review.
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Allene Tew grew up in Jamestown, New York during the late 1800’s.  Her grandfather was one of the first residents to settle in Jamestown. The Tew family prospered in their new town. They became successful entrepreneurs - all except one, who was Allene’s father.  He was given a job as assistant cashier at the family’s bank.  

But from Allene’s modest upbringing, she rose to become a member of one of America’s most prominent families, and then to fame as an international society hostess, a princess, and a world traveler.  She mingled with America’s high society in the Gilded Age and then became a European princess who socialized with royalty as well as with statesmen including Winston Churchill and Dwight Eisenhower. Her life was blessed in many ways, but she also experienced many tragedies. However, she was not one to dwell on tragedies. Her philosophy of life was to move forward with persistence and determination showing courage at all times.  

In this fascinating biography, author Annejet van der Zijl sheds light on the remarkable life of Allene Tew. It’s an unforgettable story, and one that brings history to life.

Thank you to author Annejet van der Zijl, Amazon Crossing Publishers, and NetGalley for giving me the opportunity to read the ARC of this interesting book!
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This isn't my normal read but I am glad that read 'An American Princess'.  It was interesting and had a lot of history included about her life and social plans.

My thanks to Netgalley and the Publishers for my copy. This is my honest review, freely given.
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This was a very interesting historical book.  I had never heard of Allene Tew, but what a life she had! This was very well written and factual. 
Many thanks to Amazon Crossing and to NetGalley for providing me with a galley in exchange for my honest opinion.
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Book Details 
I´ve never heard of Allene Tew even though I´ve studied some American History. She lived a great life and was a woman ahead of her time. Courageous, fierceless and an incredible good negotiator who led the life she wanted during a time that women were supposed to be in the background. The author tells us about her life and gives an accurate account of the historical facts that are intertwined with it. Found it most interesting !
I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.
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Allene Tew was a fascinating character a woman who lived life to the fullest many marriages twirling through society the gilded age.Really enjoyed getting to know this interesting character..#netgalley#amazoncrossing
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I thought this was a very well written biography about Allene Tew. A very colorful woman with an interesting history. Granted I have never heard of Allene before this biography, but I now know more about her and I find her to be someone I can start doing my own personal research about. I love stories about these kinds of women who have gone through a lot of ups and downs their entire life, but still have some what a positive outlook on it. Allene was a young girl at 18 from Jamestown, VA who fell in love with a young rich man from Pittsburgh and eloped with him after she found out she was with child. This begins her journey to 5 husbands, two kids, two World Wars, and many different countries.  Annejet van der Zijl, a Dutch author, did such a great job on the research and filled the book with a lot of American/World History.
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The writing in this book did often feel rather dry. While I think it could have been more interesting, I definitely enjoyed the story of Allene Tew. The writing was well detailed and surprisingly something I wanted to keep reading about. I've never read anything by Annejet van der Zijl before but I'm definitely going to read more from her now.
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If you've ever wondered whether Edith Wharton and Henry James were exaggerating about Old New York society--they weren't. This extremely well-researched book tells the life story of a woman whose life story seems beyond belief and would fit in the pages of a turn-of-the-century novel. Allene Tew survived and even prevailed through circumstances that would have broken many others. As others have noted, it is hard to truly feel close to her character, as we don't get a lot of direct dialogue from her, just phrases here and there from books she wrote. Still, I found this an interesting perspective on a time period I enjoy reading about.

Thanks to the publishers and NetGalley for a digital ARC.
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This was a great journey into someone I didn't know a whole lot about. It's well written and informative.
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An American Princess was an interesting true story of a woman with great drive and ambition to make the most of her life. Beginning in Upstate New York, and spanning Pittsburgh, NYC and Europe, Allene Tew brilliantly reinvented herself. This story was told in a factual voice, yet, was engaging and inspiring. Thank you NetGalley for the e-copy, all opinions are my own.
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An American Princess: The Many Lives of Allene Tew is an interesting read. It was a little slow at times and I had a hard time to get into it. But it was worth a read. 
Three stars.
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I loved how detailed this story was, the descriptions really were what made this book for me. I would definitely recommend this to anyone that enjoys US history and wants a lot of detail.
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3.5 stars

Thank you to Netgalley and Amazon Crossing for providing me with a kindle version of this book.

Allene Tew was born into a pioneering family in the US and over the course of 5 marriages, managed to vastly improve her wealth and social status, including marrying a German prince (hence the princess title) and then a Russian count.

Allene's life was certainly interesting, however I feel that the book focused more on her husbands than on her, so Allene always felt like a bit of a background character.

The writing was very factual and a little on the dry side, however it was interesting to follow the lives of the affluent (and influential!) during the time of both World Wars and the financial crash of 1929.

It's worth a read if you like historical biographies.
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I got a copy of this book thankfully to the author and publisher, in exchange for a fair review on NetGalley. 
All the opinions are mine. 
I was disappointed by the difference between my expectations from the title and the reality of the contents. The book is more a whole compilation of data about economics, buying and selling of houses, relations with the in-laws (from a very distant perspective), and different biographies of different people, than a true, vivid, lifeful tale of a life out of the ordinary. If, as a reader, you have never heard of the socio-economics of the USA between 1880-1930, if you don't know anything about WW1 in Europe and in Russia, then the book, like a textook, will provide detailed descriptions. If you already know and have read the Great Gasby, then, I wonder what you are going to learn. There is no dialogue, no vivid description or imagination. Everything is a synthesis from books and press articles. The title is explained at some point, but this is not a more vital element in the book. 
Truth to be told, the author worked hours on this production, but this is not a biography, nor a textbook. Perhaps an account from a journalistic point of view, under several scopes.
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There are so many reviews for this I can't add any value, so I'll just say this is a pretty good read. A bit academic in tone but still interesting.

I really appreciate the comp copy for an honest review!!
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I must admit that i wasn't sure whether this book was a book that i would enjoy reading or not, but there are times when i like to read something a little different.  So glad that i did read 'An American Princess' as i found it quite interesting.  I have never heard of Allene Tew, but that could be because i don't know a lot about American history.   

My thanks to Netgalley and the Publishers for my copy.  This is my honest review, freely given.

Awaiting Amazon to approve my feedback.
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