Anna Gould

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Anna Gould
Duchess of Talleyrand and Dino
Duchess of Sagan
Anna Gould.jpg
circa 1900
Born(1875-06-05)June 5, 1875
DiedNovember 30, 1961(1961-11-30) (aged 86)
(m. 1895; div. 1906)

(m. 1908; died 1937)
ParentsJay Gould
Helen Day Miller

Anna Gould (June 5, 1875 – November 30, 1961) was an American socialite and heiress as a daughter of financier Jay Gould.[1]

Early life[edit]

Anna Gould was born on June 5, 1875, in New York City. She was the daughter of Jay Gould (1836–1892) and Helen Day Miller (1838–1889). Her siblings included George Jay Gould I, Edwin Gould I, Helen Miller Gould, Howard Gould, and Frank Jay Gould.

Personal life[edit]

Samuel D. Ehrhart's "An International High Noon Divorce"
A parody of the circus-like atmosphere of the divorce proceedings of Anna Gould, shown holding a bouquet made of indictments against her husband, Boni de Castellane.
Anna Gould (1875-1961)

On March 14, 1895, she married Paul Ernest Boniface de Castellane (1867–1932), elder son and heir apparent of the Marquis of Castellane, in Manhattan, New York. He was commonly referred to as Boniface de Castellane with the nickname "Boni" and used the courtesy title of Count of Castellane (Comte de Castellane). Before their divorce, Boni and Anna had five children together:

  • Marie Louise de Castellane (b. 1896)
  • Boniface, Marquis de Castellane (1896–1946), who married Yvonne Patenôtre, a daughter of Jules Patenôtre and Eleanor Elverson, the daughter of James Elverson, owner of The Philadelphia Inquirer.
  • Georges Paul Ernest de Castellane (1897/9–1944), who married Florinda Fernández Anchorena (1901-1995), owner at that time, of the Fernández Anchorena Palace in Buenos Aires.
  • Georges Gustave de Castellane (c. 1898–1946)
  • Jay (Jason) de Castellane (1902-1956)

They divorced in 1906, after Boniface had spent about $10 million of her family's money. Boniface then sought an annulment from the Vatican in 1924.[2][3] After several appeals the validity of the marriage was upheld. On April 13, 1925, Time magazine wrote: "Probably not since Henry VIII tried in vain to get an annulment of his marriage with Catherine of Aragon has a matrimonial case been so long in the courts of the Roman Catholic Church as that on which nine Cardinals have just handed down a final decision."[4]

In 1908, she married Boni's cousin, Hélie de Talleyrand-Périgord, Duc de Sagan (1859–1937), son of the dandy Boson de Talleyrand-Périgord. As eldest son and heir to the Duke of Talleyrand, he was styled Marquis of Talleyrand-Périgord and Duke of Sagan.[1][5] With Talleyrand, Anna had the following two children:

  • Howard de Talleyrand-Périgord, Duc de Sagan (1909-1929), who took his own life when his parents refused him permission to marry until he was 21.[6][7]
  • Hélène Violette de Talleyrand-Périgord (1915-2003), who married Comte James Robert de Pourtalès on March 29, 1937, in Le Val-Saint-Germain. They divorced in 1969 and on March 20, 1969, she married Gaston Palewski (1901–1984), former Minister of Scientific Research, Atomic Energy and Space Questions. She had Issue.

She returned to the United States four months before her death and died on December 8, 1961, in Paris.[1][2] She is entombed in Passy Cemetery in Paris.


Anna was a grandmother to Elisabeth de Castellane (1928-1991), who married Jean Bertrand Jacques Adrien Nompar Comte de Caumont La Force (1920-1986) in Paris on December 7, 1948. She was also a grandmother to Diane Rose Anne Marie de Castellane (b. 1927), who married Philippe François Armand Marie Duc de Mouchy Prince-Duc de Poix (1922-2011) in Paris (civil ceremony) on April 14, 1948 (religious ceremony) on April 20, 1948. After having children, they divorced on March 13, 1974. She was also grandmother to Comte Hélie de Pourtalès who married, as her second husband, the eldest daughter of Princess Marie Clotilde Bonaparte.


  • 1875 Birth of Anna Gould
  • 1895 Marriage to Paul Ernest Boniface comte de Castellane (1867–1932), on March 14
  • 1908 Marriage to Hélie de Talleyrand-Périgord[8]
  • 1929 Suicide of Howard de Talleyrand-Périgord, her son
  • 1932 Death of Boniface de Castellane, her first husband
  • 1932 Awarded the Cross of the French Legion of Honor
  • 1937 Death of Hélie de Talleyrand-Périgord, her second husband
  • 1939 Returns to the US and lives in Lyndhurst at her father's estate
  • 1961 Death of Anna Gould

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Died". Time magazine. December 8, 1961. Archived from the original on February 4, 2011. Retrieved 2007-07-21. Anna Gould, Duchess of Talleyrand, 83, daughter of Rail Tycoon Jay Gould and one of the first of the American heiresses whose marriages infused new blood—and new money—into Europe's sagging aristocracy; of a heart attack; in Paris. Wed to Count Boniface de Castellane in 1895, Anna Gould divorced him after an 11-year phantasmagoria of pink marble palaces and $150,000 parties during which the Parisian gay blade skated through more than half of her $13.5 million inheritance. Two years later, she wed the fifth Duke of Talleyrand, a descendant of the wily French diplomatist whose machinations shaped post-Napoleonic Europe, lived with him for 29 years until his death in 1937.
  2. ^ a b "Duchesse de Talleyrand Is Dead. Youngest daughter of Jay Gould". The New York Times. November 30, 1961. Retrieved 2008-08-06. The Duchesse de Talleyrand-Périgord, daughter of the late Jay Gould, American railroad financier, died today in Paris where she passed most of her life.
  3. ^ "Marriage annulled". Time magazine. July 21, 1924. Archived from the original on February 10, 2009. Retrieved 2008-08-04. The religious marriage of Boniface, comte de Castellane, to Anna Gould (daughter of the late Jay Gould), in 1895; at the Vatican, by Pope Pius XI. She divorced Boniface in Paris in 1906, in 1908 married (in London) Hélie de Talleyrand-Périgord, later the fifth Duke de Talleyrand.
  4. ^ "Courts". Time. April 13, 1925. Archived from the original on September 30, 2007. Retrieved 2007-07-21.
  5. ^ "Died". Time magazine. November 8, 1937. Archived from the original on September 30, 2007. Retrieved 2007-07-21. Marie Pierre Louis Hélie de Talleyrand-Périgord, Prince de Sagan, fifth Duke of Talleyrand, 78, husband of Railway Heiress Anna Gould; of a heart attack; in Paris. The Duke married Heiress Gould in 1908 after she had been divorced from his cousin, Count Boni de Castellane. Her father, Jay Gould, who bequeathed her $80,000,000, opposed their marriage."
  6. ^ "Talleyrand Model". Time magazine. June 3, 1929. Archived from the original on October 27, 2010. Retrieved 2007-07-21. Prince of Sagan, son of the Duchess de Talleyrand, who was Anna, the daughter of the late wealthy Jay Gould, shot himself on purpose in his mother's Paris home. The press did not get wind of the story until last week. When the press came, the Duchess was ready with a frank, detailed and—most important of all—entirely literate statement; one that prevented garbling by scandal-monging journals. The statement said: "The Duke and Duchess de Talleyrand regret keenly to announce the critical illness of their son, Howard. ... He shot himself because we refused him permission to marry until he was 21. ... The shooting took place in our home and our son was taken to a hospital in the Rue Puccini. ... Our son is now in an extremely grave condition. We wish to emphasize that we had no objection to the girl, but only opposed the marriage because of our son's age."
  7. ^ "Anna Gould's son, self-wounded, dies. Howard de Talleyrand, Prince de Sagan, 19, Succumbs in Paris After 11 Days. Parent's at his Bedside". The New York Times. May 29, 1929. Paris, May 28, 1929. Howard de Talleyrand, Prince de Sagan, 19-year-old son of the Duc de Talleyrand and the former Anna Gould, died early this morning following a self-inflicted wound on May 17 after his parents had refused him immediate permission to marry.
  8. ^ "The empty church: prince and millionairess wed in Soho". Northampton Mercury. British Newspaper Archive. 10 July 1908. p. 8 col 4. Retrieved 11 August 2020. (Contains illustration of wedding in empty church in London)

External links[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • New York Times; February 9, 1895; pg. 5; Count Castellane's lineage. His ancestors date from the Crusades and his father is wealthy.
  • New York Times; February 10, 1895; pg. 11; World of society: Engagement of Miss Anna Gould and Count Castellane. It is probable that the public, if not society, breathed a sigh of relief last week when it was finally, definitely, and conclusively announced that Miss Anna Gould, daughter of the late Jay Gould, was actually engaged to be married.
  • New York Times; March 5, 1895; pg. 1; Now a French Countess.
  • New York Times; January 19, 1897; pg. 7; Count Castellane's heir. A son born to the Countess early yesterday morning.
  • Covington Sun; April 16, 1908; Gould to Wed
  • New York Times; July 12, 1908; pg. SM1; The family in which Ann Gould married; Three French Dukedoms and a Prussian Principality belong to the Talleyrand-Périgords, Historic house which has already formed three American alliances. Jay Gould's youngest daughter, Anna, is the fourth American woman to marry into the historic house of Talleyrand-Périgord, one of the most ancient and illustrious families of the Old World, yet relatively little is known about it on this side of the Atlantic.
  • Time; April 13, 1925; Divorce
  • Time; December 12, 1932; Cross of the French Legion of Honor.
  • New York Times; October 27, 1937; pg. 31; Talleyrand dead; wed Anna Gould; Duke Was known as Prince of Sagan at time of courtship in first of century. Marie Pierre Camille Louis Hélie de Talleyrand-Périgord, Prince of Sagan and fifth Duke of Talleyrand, was a principal in one of the international marriage of the first decade of this century. He married Anna Gould, heir to more than $80,000,000 of the fortune of her father, the late Jay Gould, after she had divorced his cousin, Count Boni de Castellane.
  • Time; March 26, 1945; The Duchess de Talleyrand, 70, chic, spry daughter of the late financier Jay Gould, and a longtime (40 years) resident of prewar France, announced that she would auction off her famed collection of orchid plants—more than 5,000, valued at about $75,000—for the benefit of the Red Cross. In giving up the collection, which blooms in a two-block-long greenhouse on the Gould estate in Tarrytown, N.Y., the Duchess will save some 75 tons of coal for spring heating, can free nine gardeners for other work.
  • New York Times; November 30, 1961; pg. 37; Duchesse de Talleyrand Is Dead; youngest daughter of Jay Gould