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Anna Gould

Anna GouldBiography, American heiress and socialite

American heiress and socialite
Anna Gould
The basics

Quick Facts

Intro American heiress and socialite
Was Financial professional Financier Socialite
From United States of America
Type Finance
Gender female
Birth 5 June 1875
Death Paris
Father: Jay Gould
Siblings: Frank Jay GouldGeorge Jay Gould IEdwin Gould IHoward Gould
Spouse: Boni de CastellaneHélie de Talleyrand-PérigordDuc de Sagan
Children: Boniface de CastellaneGeorges de Castellane
Anna Gould
The details


Anna Gould (June 5, 1875 – November 30, 1961) was an American heiress and socialite, the daughter of financier Jay Gould.

First marriage

She married Paul Ernest Boniface de Castellane (1867–1932), elder son and heir apparent of the Marquis of Castellane, on March 14, 1895 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).

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. After several appeals the validity of the marriage was upheld.

Children of first marriage

With Boniface, Anna had the following five children:

  • Marie Louise de Castellane (1896-?)
  • Boniface, Marquis de Castellane (1896–1946), who married Yvonne Patenôtre (daughter of Jules Patenôtre and wife Eleanor Elverson, who was the sister of James Elverson, Jr. (– 1929), and daughter of publisher James Elverson, Sr. (1838 – 1911) by wife Sallie Duvall, the three of them owners of The Philadelphia Inquirer), and had issue:
    • Elisabeth de Castellane (Paris, July 9, 1928 – Paris, November 13, 1991), wife (married in Paris, December 7, 1948) of Jean Bertrand Jacques Adrien Nompar Comte de Caumont La Force (Paris, February 4, 1920 – Fontaine Française, June 8, 1986), and had issue.
  • Georges Paul Ernest de Castellane (1897 or 1899–1944) who married Florinda Fernández y Anchorena (1901-?), and had issue:
    • Diane Rose Anne Marie de Castellane (born in Paris, February 19, 1927), first wife (married in Paris (civil ceremony) April 14, 1948 (religious ceremony) April 20, 1948, and divorced March 13, 1974) of Philippe François Armand Marie Duc de Mouchy Prince-Duc de Poix (born in Paris, April 17, 1922), and had issue.
  • Georges Gustave de Castellane (circa 1898-1946)
  • Jay (Jason) de Castellane (1902-?)
  • "Marriage annulled". Time magazine. July 21, 1924. 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. 


Samuel D. Ehrhart's "An International High Noon Divorce"
File:Samuel D. Ehrhart - An International High Noon Divorce (1906).jpg
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.

Time magazine wrote on April 13, 1925:

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.

Second marriage

Anna Gould (1875-1961)

After the civil divorce in 1906 she married Boni's cousin in 1908: 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.

Children of second marriage

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.
  • Helene Violette de Talleyrand-Périgord (1915-2003), who married James Robert de Pourtalès on March 29, 1937 in Le Val-Saint-Germain (their son Hélie married, as her second husband, the eldest daughter of Marie Clotilde Bonaparte). She divorced him in 1969 and married Gaston Palewski (1901–1984), who had been the Minister of Scientific Research and Atomic and Space Questions from 1962 to 1966. They married on March 20, 1969, in Paris.
  • "Died.". Time magazine. November 8, 1937. 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." 
  • "Talleyrand Model". Time magazine. June 3, 1929. 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." 
  • "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.". 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. 


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


  • 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
  • 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

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