The story of the family who rose from the Frankfurt ghetto to achieve incomparable wealth and power is a familiar one. Yet many of the Rothschilds, the women, remain virtually unknown – until now. On December 13 historian Natalie Livingstone comes to Intelligence Squared to talk about the lives of the extraordinary women who feature in her new book The Women of Rothschild.
As Jews in a predominantly Christian society and women in a deeply patriarchal family, they were outsiders twice over – but many of them were determined to challenge and subvert expectations. They became hostesses and diplomats, choreographed electoral campaigns, advised prime ministers, advocated for social reform and traded on the stock exchange. Misfits and conformists, conservatives and idealists, performers and introverts, they mixed with Rossini and Mendelssohn, Disraeli and Gladstone, Chaim Weizmann, Queen Victoria and Albert Einstein. They broke code, played a pioneering role in the environmental movement, scandalised the world of women’s tennis by introducing the overarm serve and drag-raced with Miles Davis in Manhattan.
Join us and hear a story of power, politics and survival that spans three centuries.
‘Captivating, intimate, dazzling epic and revelatory’ – Simon Sebag-Montefiore
‘This brilliantly researched and scintillatingly written book is proof positive that the females of the Rothschild species were even more fascinating and talented than the males.’ – Andrew Roberts
‘Nathalie Livingstone shows that Rothschild women were the velvet gloves guiding the iron fists of their male relatives and far from being mere appendages, they acted as trusted confidants and silent partners.’ – Hannah Rothschild
Speakers subject to change.