The Fortune Hunter, the New York Times bestselling novel by Daisy Goodwin, is a lush, irresistible story of the public lives and private longings of grand historical figures.
Empress Elizabeth of Austria, known as Sisi, is the Princess Diana of nineteenth-century Europe. Famously beautiful, as captured in a portrait with diamond stars in her hair, she is unfulfilled in her marriage to the older Emperor Franz Joseph. Sisi has spent years evading the stifling formality of royal life on her private train or yacht or, whenever she can, on the back of a horse.
Captain Bay Middleton is dashing, young, and the finest horseman in England. He is also impoverished, with no hope of buying the horse needed to win the Grand National—until he meets Charlotte Baird. A clever, plainspoken heiress whose money gives her a choice among suitors, Charlotte falls in love with Bay, the first man to really notice her, for his vulnerability as well as his glamour. When Sisi joins the legendary hunt organized by Earl Spencer in England, Bay is asked to guide her on the treacherous course. Their shared passion for riding leads to an infatuation that jeopardizes the growing bond between Bay and Charlotte, and threatens all of their futures.
“One of the most compelling and entertaining historical novels I've ever read. . . .The Fortune Hunter will sweep you away.” —Liz Smith, The Boston Herald
“Public Service Announcement. . . this gorgeous novel is the perfect storm of escapism, suspense, romance and superb historical research.” —The Times, UK
“Finely drawn characters and intriguing plot lines. . . Readers who enjoyed The American Heiress will be first in line to savor Goodwin's new novel, [and] they will be followed quickly by others who appreciate engaging and thoughtful historical fiction.” —Library Journal, starred review
“Goodwin manages to take the reader deep inside the characters' longings and flaws in a way that makes the reader root for them. An enchanting, beautifully written page-turner.” —Publishers Weekly
“A luxurious indulgence. . . .Goodwin writes with effortless grace, and her dialogue's subtle wit is delightful. Each of her three protagonists commands attention and sympathy, which heightens the story's poignancy. Charlotte's levelheaded personality remains unaffected by her wealth or her relatives' dependence on it, and Bay is movingly torn between duty and his sense of self-worth. Finally, despite her outlandish regimen for maintaining her complexion and ankle-length chestnut tresses, Elizabeth is never less than beguiling.” —Booklist
“With its witty dialogue, intriguing research and cameo appearances by Queen Victoria and other royals, Goodwin's latest is a pleasurable excursion into Downton-land complete with high-society weddings, lavish balls and an exciting, all-or-nothing horse-racing finale.” —Kirkus Reviews
“A sumptuous, scrumptious confection, with country houses, Austrian Empresses and Victorian glamour galore.” —Lucy Worsley, Chief Curator at Historic Royal Palaces
“Daisy Goodwin has triumphed again. In The Fortune Hunter she weaves a rich and textured tale of desire and ambition. Sizzling with energy and passion on every page, Goodwin's characters compel the reader to fall in love with them.” —Amanda Foreman, author of the New York Times bestsellers GEORGIANA and A WORLD ON FIRE
“Anyone suffering Downton Abbey withdrawal symptoms will find an instant tonic in Goodwin's deliciously evocative novel.” —Allison Pearson, author of New York Times bestseller I Don't Know How She Does It, on The American Heiress
“Goodwin...writes deliciously.” —Janet Maslin, The New York Times, on The American Heiress
“Top-notch writing brings to life the world of wealth on both sides of the Atlantic. This debut's strong character development and sense of place will please fans of historical romance, including book club members.” —Library Journal, starred review, on The American Heiress
“A shrewd, spirited historical romance…Superior entertainment.” —Kirkus Reviews (starred) on The American Heiress