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Empty mansions : the mysterious life of Huguette Clark and the spending of a great American fortune / Bill Dedman and Paul Clark Newell, Jr.

Cover image for Empty mansions
ISBN#9780345534538
BIB ID#1670319
Call# B Clark D

Empty mansions

4
Author
Subjects
Description
xxviii, 470 pages : illustrations (some color) ; 25 cm
Summary
Family Tree -- Introduction: House Hunting -- An Apparition -- Time Capsule -- The Clark Mansion, Part One -- The Log Cabin -- The Copper King Mansion -- The U.S. Capitol -- The Clark Mansion, Part Two -- 907 Fifth Avenue, Part One -- 907 Fifth Avenue, Part Two -- Bellosguardo -- Le Beau Château -- Doctors Hospital -- Beth Israel Medical Center -- Woodlawn Cemetery -- Surrogate's Courthouse -- Epilogue: The Cricket -- Authors' Note -- List of Illustrations -- Appendix: Siblings of W.A. Clark -- Appendix: Inflation Adjustment. "When Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Bill Dedman noticed a property listing for a grand estate that had been unoccupied for nearly sixty years, he stumbled into one of the most surprising American stories of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Empty Mansions is a rich tale of wealth and loss, complete with copper barons, Gilded Age opulence, and backdoor politics. At its heart is a reclusive 104-year-old heiress named Huguette Clark. Dedman has collaborated with Huguette's cousin, Paul Clark Newell, Jr., one of the few relatives to have had frequent conversations with her, to tell a fairy tale in reverse: the bright, talented daughter who is born into an almost royal family of amazing wealth and privilege, yet who secrets herself away from the outside world. Empty Mansions reveals a complete picture of the enigmatic Huguette Clark, heiress to one of the greatest fortunes in American history, a woman who had not been photographed in public since the 1920s. Though she owned three palatial homes in California, New York, and Connecticut, they sat vacant while she lived out her final two decades in a New York City hospital room, despite being in excellent health. Her father was self-made copper industrialist W. A. Clark, who at the dawn of the twentieth century was one of the richest men in America. Huguette's inheritance afforded her untold luxury: gorgeous paintings by Degas and Renoir, a world-renowned Stradivarius violin, a vast collection of antique dolls, lavish gifts for her friends, the freedom to pursue her own work as an artist, and, most important, the privacy she valued above all else. The Clark family story takes the reader nearly the entire span of American history in just three generations. The same Huguette who held a ticket for the return trip of the Titanic was touched by the terror attacks of 9/11. In this scrupulously detailed account, we meet Huguette's extravagant father, her publicity-shy mother, her star-crossed sister, her noble French boyfriend, the nurse who received more than $30 million in gifts, and the relatives seeking to inherit Huguette's $300 million fortune. Richly illustrated with more than seventy photographs, some never before seen, Empty Mansions is a touching story of an eccentric of the highest order, a last jewel of the Gilded Age who lived life on her own terms"--

Reviews and Notes

Summary/Annotation ->  #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY Janet Maslin, The New York Times * St. Louis Post-Dispatch When Pulitzer Prize - winning journalist Bill Dedman noticed in 2009 a grand home for sale, unoccupied for nearly sixty years, he stumbled through a surprising portal into American history. Empty Mansions is a rich mystery of wealth and loss, connecting the Gilded Age opulence of the nineteenth century with a twenty-first-century battle over a $300 million inheritance. At its heart is a reclusive heiress named Huguette Clark, a woman so secretive that, at the time of her death at age 104, no new photograph of her had been seen in decades. Though she owned palatial homes in California, New York, and Connecticut, why had she lived for twenty years in a simple hospital room, despite being in excellent health? Why were her valuables being sold off? Was she in control of her fortune, or controlled by those managing her money? nbsp; Dedman has collaborated with Huguette Clark's cousin, Paul Clark Newell, Jr., one of the few relatives to have frequent conversations with her. Dedman and Newell tell a fairy tale in reverse: the bright, talented daughter, born into a family of extreme wealth and privilege, who secrets herself away from the outside world. nbsp; Huguette was the daughter of self-made copper industrialist W. A. Clark, nearly as rich as Rockefeller in his day, a controversial senator, railroad builder, and founder of Las Vegas. She grew up in the largest house in New York City, a remarkable dwelling with 121 rooms for a family of four. She owned paintings by Degas and Renoir, a world-renowned Stradivarius violin, a vast collection of antique dolls. But wanting more than treasures, she devoted her wealth to buying gifts for friends and strangers alike, to quietly pursuing her own work as an artist, and to guarding the privacy she valued above all else. nbsp; The Clark family story spans nearly all of American history in three generations, from a log cabin in Pennsylvania to mining camps in the Montana gold rush, from backdoor politics in Washington to a distress call from an elegant Fifth Avenue apartment. The same Huguette who was touched by the terror attacks of 9/11 held a ticket nine decades earlier for a first-class stateroom on the second voyage of the Titanic . nbsp; Empty Mansions reveals a complex portrait of the mysterious Huguette and her intimate circle. We meet her extravagant father, her publicity-shy mother, her star-crossed sister, her French boyfriend, her nurse who received more than $30 million in gifts, and the relatives fighting to inherit Huguette's copper fortune. Richly illustrated with more than seventy photographs, Empty Mansions is an enthralling story of an eccentric of the highest order, a last jewel of the Gilded Age who lived life on her own terms. Praise for Empty Mansions nbsp; "An amazing story of profligate wealth . . . an outsized tale of rags-to-riches prosperity." -- The New York Times nbsp; "An evocative and rollicking read, part social history, part hothouse mystery, part grand guignol ." --The Daily Beast nbsp; "Fascinating . . . [a] haunting true-life tale." -- People nbsp; "One of those incredible stories that you didn't even know existed. It filled a void." --Jon Stewart, The Daily Show nbsp; "Thrilling . . . deliciously scandalous." -- Publishers Weekly (starred review)

Availability

LocationCall NumberItem TypeVolumeBarcodesort iconStatus
Fresh MeadowsB Clark DAdult Hard Cover0228572149612Due 1-2-2015
WoodhavenB Clark DAdult Hard Cover0228572091426Available
AuburndaleB Clark DAdult Hard Cover0228572047311Available
Central Adult Non-FictionB Clark DAdult Hard Cover0228569747667Available
Glen OaksB Clark DAdult Hard Cover0228569699983Available
BroadwayB Clark DAdult Trade Paperback0228566480528Due 12-10-2014
MaspethB Clark DAdult Trade Paperback0228566121338Due 1-2-2015
ElmhurstB Clark DAdult Hard Cover0228565851919Available
SunnysideB Clark DAdult Hard Cover0228565831945Available
Central Library (Jamaica)B Clark DAdult Hard Cover0228565825285Available
Central Adult Non-Fic- Ask at DeskB Clark DAdult Hard Cover0228565825269Available
HillcrestB Clark DAdult Hard Cover0228563620829Due 1-2-2015
Central Adult Non-Fic- Ask at DeskB Clark DAdult Hard Cover0228562875150Requested for Loan
SeasideB Clark DAdult Trade Paperback0228562848009Available
SeasideB Clark DAdult Hard Cover0228561005981Available
FlushingB Clark DAdult Hard Cover0228560728377Due 12-26-2014
FlushingB Clark DAdult Hard Cover0228560728369Available
Windsor ParkB Clark DAdult Hard Cover0228560720523Available
Forest HillsB Clark DAdult Hard Cover0228553541910Due 1-7-2015
Central Adult Non-FictionB Clark DAdult Hard Cover0228519437096Available
Central Adult Non-Fic- Ask at DeskB Clark DAdult Hard Cover0228519437088Available

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