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The Fortune Hunter: A Novel Audiobook, by Daisy Goodwin Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Daisy Goodwin Narrator: Clare Corbett Publisher: Macmillan Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: July 2014 ISBN: 9781427236128
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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 threatens the growing bond between Bay and Charlotte, and all of their futures.
The Fortune Hunter, the brilliant new novel by Daisy Goodwin, is a lush, irresistible story of the public lives and private longings of grand historical figures.

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Quotes & Awards

  • Dripping with acerbic affectation and perfect British and Newport upper-crust accents, Katherine Kellgren deliciously portrays wealthy, beautiful, naïve Cora Cash…This story is filled with a full cast of unlikeable characters…Kellgren delivers each perfectly and convincingly conveys the worst that lack of character has to offer on both sides of the pond. AudioFile Magazine on the Audiobook Edition of The American Heiress
  • Ketherine Kellgren, a truly accomplished voice actress, affects a la-di-da intercontinental accent for the narration of this puree of Edith Wharton, ‘Downtown Abbey' and pulp romance. The Washington Post on the Audiobook Edition of The American Heiress
  • This audiobook is full of historical detail about the lives of the rich and famous at the turn of the last century, from fashion and food to living spaces and manners. I think I listened to the descriptions of Cora's Parisian-made trousseau about five or six times so that I could picture each sumptuous, amazing gown clearly in my mind. Star-Telegram on the Audiobook Edition of The American Heiress
  • This audio presentation, narrated by Katherine Kellgren, who moves with effortless authenticity from the haughty Mayfair drawl of the Prince of Wales to the self-important, Southern tinged cadences of a rich American society matron, is bound to top the list of super-summer-beach listens. BookPage on the Audiobook Edition of The American Heiress
  • The characters are varied and lively and brought to life skillfully by narrator Katherine Kellgren. Those who read Daphne de Maurier and other authors in the genre will enjoy this title. Recommended. Library Journal on the Audiobook Edition of The American Heiress
  • “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 bestseller Georgiana

  • “Beautifully narrated by Claire Corbett… a special and utterly engaging audiobook experience. AudioFile Magazine

  • From the first plummy tones of Katherine Kellgren's voice, you know you're in for a guilty pleasure…This is ‘Upstairs/Downstairs,' ‘The Age of Innocence' and ‘Downton Abbey' rolled into one. The Winston-Salem Journal on the Audiobook Edition of The American Heiress

  • “Daisy Goodwin returns with another captivating historical novel, this one the dramatic story of a nineteenth century love triangle entangling ‘Sisi’ (more properly, Elizabeth, Empress of Austria and Queen of Hungary’), a handsome but impoverished British horseman, and a resourceful young heiress. In The Fortune Hunter, all three emerge as real people, perhaps the enigmatic real-life wife of Franz Joseph I most of all.”

    Barnes&, editorial review

  • “Goodwin uses finely drawn characters and intriguing plot lines to create numerous memorable scenes such as when the empress, accompanied by Bay, visits and exchanges polite but pointed barbs with Queen Victoria. Although readers who enjoyed The American Heiress will be first in line to savor Goodwin's new novel, they will be followed quickly by others who appreciate engaging and thoughtful historical fiction.”

    Library Journal (starred review)

  • “Goodwin’s second novel travels the difficult protocols of Victorian-era fox hunting, as well as the even more complicated protocols of love and marriage in the era, especially for an intelligent young woman with a fortune…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

  • “Goodwin’s second novel is a luxurious indulgence for romantically inclined readers…Mingling historical fact with imaginative fiction, 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.”


  • “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, Historic Royal Palaces

  • “Goodwin’s Victorian-era grand romance is beautifully narrated by Clare Corbett. The story is told by three vivid characters: heiress Charlotte Baird, Empress Elizabeth of Austria, and the roguish Captain Bay Middleton, who has a passion for both of them. Corbett gives all of them distinct voices and personalities. Despite the number of secondary characters, each is given a voice that fits his or her personality. Corbett’s narration and Goodwin’s story give listeners an engaging audiobook experience. J.L.K. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award.”


  • “Goodwin has a gift for evoking the atmosphere of the era with well-researched period details. Readers will empathize with awkward Charlotte, trying to find herself, glamorous Sisi—who appears to have everything—and the enigmatic Bay, whose desires force the love triangle that gives the story its center and purpose. Fans of unconventional historical fiction can relish this novel.”

    RT Book Reviews (4 stars)

  • A Publishers Weekly Pick of the Week, July 2014
  • One of Barnes & Noble's Biggest Books for July 2014
  • A People Pick of the Week, July 2014
  • A USA Today Notable Book
  • An August 2014 Amazon Best Book of the Month for Fiction
  • Winner of the AudioFile Earphones Award

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About the Author

Daisy Goodwin is a television producer, presenter, and author. She has edited numerous poetry anthologies, including the bestselling 101 Poems That Could Save Your Life, and is the author of Silver River, a memoir. She was chair of the judging panel of the 2010 Orange Prize for Fiction. Her first novel, My Last Duchess, was translated into thirteen languages.

About the Narrator

Clare Corbett, an Earphones Award–winning narrator, studied at the Welsh College of Music and Drama. After winning the Carlton Hobbs audition, she was chosen to be on BBC Radio. After leaving BBC she went on to narrate several children’s books, including Over the Moon, I Rule Dogsbottom School, and Boy Beware. She has transitioned into reading young adult novels, including many installments in the Doctor Who series.