Details

TitleEmpty Mansions
AuthorBill Dedman
ISBN0345534522
ImprintBill Dedman Ltd
Rating
Sales rank4.5
LanguageEnglish
FormatHardcover
Pages456

Description

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 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 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 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 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 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 than 30 million in gifts, and the relatives fighting to inherit Huguette s copper fortune Richly illustrated with 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.The No 1 New York Times bestseller Best nonfiction books of the year at Goodreads,.com, and Barnes Noble One of the New York Times critic Janet Maslin s 10 favorite books of 2013.

Reviews

Kris

Empty Mansions By Bill Dedman

Update on September 12, 2013 I just received the hardcover, and the photographs are amazing Upped my star rating to 5, between the photographs and some other adjustments in the text Book is now released Huguette Clark was born to nearly unimaginable wealth and privilege Her father, William A Clark, ... (Sign in to see more)


Julie

Empty Mansions By Bill Dedman

Empty Mansions The Mysterious Life of Huguette Clark and the Spending of a Great American Fortune by Bill Dedman and Paul Clark Newell Jr is a 2013 Ballantine publication This is one of those books I discovered through a Goodreads friend, and thankfully one of my local libraries was able to provide ... (Sign in to see more)


Frances

Empty Mansions By Bill Dedman

The rich are different, but the super rich are very much in a class of their own and W.A Clark belonged to the very super rich establishment who always carried two grades of cigars fine ones for himself and lesser ones to give away A farm boy born in a log cabin in 1839, his rise to a powerful, weal... (Sign in to see more)


Kathrina

Empty Mansions By Bill Dedman

One goodreader calls this Mansion Porn oh yes Mansion Porn, Rich People Porn, this book gives you plenty of time to consider how you d behave so much appropriately if gifted with 15 million dollars, if only some rich old woman would give you the chance to prove it Too much money makes everyone look... (Sign in to see more)


David Stone

Empty Mansions By Bill Dedman

Let me answer the big question first Yes, there is a lot of new information about Huguette Clark in this book by journalist Dedman and Huguette s cousin Paul Newell I thought I already knew the whole story about the woman with three of the most expensive homes in America who didn t visit them for de... (Sign in to see more)


Book of Secrets ☘

Empty Mansions By Bill Dedman

EMPTY MANSIONS is my first audiobook of 2018 The plan is to dedicate most of my audiobook listening to nonfiction this year We ll see how it goes Abandoned places are fascinating to me While the mansions in this book weren t abandoned entirely there were caretakers on site , the eccentric owner Hugu... (Sign in to see more)


Dem

Empty Mansions By Bill Dedman

Empty Mansions The Mysterious Life of Huguette Clark and the Spending of a Great American Fortune by Bill Dedman was a fascinating read This is an extensively well researched and well written account of a forgotten American Heiress and her father W.A Clark.Having recently watched the series on TV Th... (Sign in to see more)


Carol

Empty Mansions By Bill Dedman

When I learned that Huguette Clark, the focus of Empty Mansions The Mysterious Life of Huguette Clark and the Spending of a Great American Fortune owned on vacant estate in Connecticut, I knew I had to read this investigative work Being in a non fiction book group gave me the perfect excuse to indul... (Sign in to see more)


Victoria

Empty Mansions By Bill Dedman

A fascinating story offering a glimpse into a world of opulence that originated with a man pursuing the American dream and culminating in a woman s need to hide herself from the world and its sorrows In that, it felt as if there were two stories, one a historical account, the other a psychological d... (Sign in to see more)


Nancy Oakes

Empty Mansions By Bill Dedman

Empty Mansions is one of those books where you don t get sucked in right away, but once you re there, there s no way you can leave I have a long review you can read by clicking here, or just stay for the shorter version Either way, right up front I ll say that you probably haven t read another book ... (Sign in to see more)


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