The two decades after Waterloo marked the great age of foreign
fortune hunters in England. Each year brought a new influx of
impecunious Continental noblemen to the world's richest country,
and the more brides they carried off, the more alarmed society
The most colorful of these men was Prince Hermann von P
ckler-Muskau (1785-1871), remembered today as Germany's finest
landscape gardener. In the mid-1820s, however, his efforts to turn
his estate into a magnificent park came close to bankrupting him.
To save his legacy his wife Lucie devised an unusual plan: they
would divorce so that P ckler could marry an heiress who would
finance further landscaping and, after a decent interval, be
cajoled into accepting Lucie's continued residence. In September
1826, his marriage dissolved, P ckler set off for London...
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