Empty Mansions: The Mysterious Life of Huguette Clark and the Spending of a Great American Fortune

Empty Mansions: The Mysterious Life of Huguette Clark and the Spending of a Great American Fortune Author Bill Dedman
ISBN-10 0345534530
ISBN-13 9780345534538
Year 2014-04-22
Pages 512
Language English
Publisher Ballantine Books
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1NEW YORK TIMESBESTSELLER UPDATED TEXT WITH RESULTS OF THE CLARK ESTATE SETTLEMENT NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BYJanet Maslin The New York Times Look for special features inside Join the Random House Reader s Circle for author chats and more 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 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 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 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 An amazing story of profligate wealth an outsized tale of rags to riches prosperity The New York Times An evocative and rollicking read part social history part hothouse mystery part grand guignol The Daily Beast Fascinating a haunting true life tale People One of those incredible stories that you didn t even know existed It filled a void Jon Stewart The Daily Show Thrilling deliciously scandalous Publishers Weekly starred review

Other Version:

Empty Mansions

Empty Mansions Author Bill Dedman
ISBN-10 9780345534538
Release 2014
Pages 470

Fortune s Children

Fortune s Children Author Arthur T. Vanderbilt
ISBN-10 9780688103866
Release 1991-02-20
Pages 544


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ISBN-10 9780062038111
Release 2011-04-05
Pages 288