Tuesday, 03 March 2020 08:00

The Art of a Salesman: The Life of Sir Merton Russell-Cotes

Sir Merton Russell-Cotes (1835-1921) is best known for co-founding the art gallery and museum in Bournemouth that bears his name. He came to prominence as the owner of the Royal Bath Hotel, an establishment renowned for its illustrious guests, fine art and first-class service.

Success brought him wealth and influence, but his brash approach to marketing led some to regard him as pushy and self-serving. A stint as mayor – the result of his outspoken calls for better amenities in the fast-growing resort – ended in chaos and recrimination. He rebuilt his reputation through philanthropy, in large part thanks to the support of his devoted wife, Annie.

The Art of a Salesman, the first full-length biography of Russell-Cotes, uncovers the story of how this once controversial hotelier became one of the most important benefactors of his time.

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