The family encompassed strong and singular women, and offspring of the first two generations of American Astors--some of whom succeeded and some of whom did not one major figure in the family perished on the Titanic. Just a moment while we sign you in to your Goodreads account.
Thank God for the Astors and their vision of a better vacation. The Astors, the Vanderbilts, Edith Wharton, JFK and Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Doris Duke, and Claus and Sunny von Bulow are just a few of the many names who have called the city home. Born in Virginia to a family impoverished by the Civil War, Lizzie, Irene, Nancy, Phyllis, and Nora eventually made their way across two continents, leaving rich husbands, fame, adoration, and scandal in their wake.
Their greatest achievements were the magnificent hotels they built to go along with their lavish family. Refresh and try again. To ask other readers questions about When the Astors Owned New Yorkplease sign up. Author Justin Kaplan manages here to provide just enough entertaining details to make the book an engaging read straight through to the end. There follows an analysis of four pornographic Victorian novels - an analysis that throws an oblique but fascinating light on the classics of Victorian literature - and a review of the odd flood of Victorian publications devoted to flagellation.
In any event, i enjoyed book what i did, but caution that this is not truly a book about the lives of the Astors, merely a Interesting subject, interesting read. Unlike Andrew Carneige who generously funded libraries throughout small-town America, The Astors and The Vanderbilts sel When The Astors Owned New York by Justin Kaplan The Astors were the self appointed American aristocracy.
I enjoy looking back and seeing the way that people used to live in all walks of life. Illustrated with rare and stunning photographs and marked by engaging, lively text, this new edition of LOST NEW YORK provides a unique and unforgettable look at the places in New York that are no more. The hotels, the family, friends and foes are examined in this informative and compelling nonfiction work of a The Astor dynasty began in Waldorf, astor family biography books, Germany, in the late s.
Though Melville said John Jacob Astor's name "rings like unto bullion," he was born to a butcher i This guy won a Pulitzer for his family on Mark Twain, and obviously he decided to cash in on that prize and write a book just substantial enough to be reviewed by a few friendly authors and then dropped into a bookstore with a minimum of effort and research. I think it might be something that could be chalked up to poor editing -- you hear about a term or "book" without any context, and then learn about it in more detail in a following chapter.
Through a narrative filled with engrossing characters and lively tales of untold extravagance, Davis brings the resort to life and uncovers the difference between rich and Newport rich along the way.The Astor Bloodline One of the 13 Satanic Bloodlines that Rule the World
Dec 27, Carol rated it it was ok Shelves: The Astors and that time period were interesting. He then turns to the most significant work of its kind from the period, the eleven-volume anonymous autobiography "My Secret Life".
Hardcoverpages. I felt that the roles of the books wives mothers, sisters, were entirely dismissed, even where they would add to the understanding and appreciation of the subject generation.
It was more about their hotels than anything. Much to my family's annoyance, I read this on vacation and intermittently shared what I was learning about the Astors. And while I enjoyed how the book jumped back-and-forth in telling the stories of two different Astor heirs, it was at times difficult to follow, or confusing as it told about them on two different timelines.
By the mid s, his descendants ate off the finest china and controlled the social scene in New York City. At the end of this long-winded tome, I realized that I really learned more about the Astor family in Arthur Vanderbilt's wonderful family biography on the Vanderbilt family.
The first chapter of this book leads the reader to believe it will be an interesting and alltogether different take on the Astors and the superrich at the turn of the century.
All Editions Add a New Edition Combine. They were the F. Jun 13, Leslie rated it did not like it. Preview — When the Astors Owned New York by Justin Kaplan. And that is all that this book is about—oh, with a little sibling rivalry built in so that we leave New York for a few pages to visit England.
William Waldorf Astor born and his cousin John Jacob Astor IV born led incomparably privileged lives in the blaze of public attention. This book seems to lack focus. I did enjoy this book, but was not that all impressed with it.
Kaplan's book traces the rise and fall and really clever ideas of this family who found a way to make a bunch of money by helping people pretend even for just one night that they already have a bunch of money.
Plus I kept getting confused by all of the different names. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald of their day —a celebrated couple too dramatic and unconventional to last— but their tumultuous story has largely been forgotten. It's a book that tries for biographical greatness, but only reaches a singular level of contentment with its assigned toy box.
It's a book that tries for biog As a snapshot of a particular point in Guilded Age Manhattan, this book functions extremely well at depicting power, wealth, and class snobbery through the mirror of one particular, famous family. Easy to carry with you as you explore the city, Inside the Apple allows you to visit the site of every story it tells.
I also felt that some of it was boring, dry, information that wasn't important. Jun 23, Alison rated it really liked it Recommends it for: Recommended to Alison by: The Astors biography books not one of those fabulously wealthy families dedicated to philanthropy. Aug 14, Amy rated it liked it.
Want to Read saving…. The book is a quick read and gives you some extra knowledge about the history of New York society and its equally fast changing city buildings.
View all 3 comments. Jan 13, PennsyLady Bev rated it liked it. My Grandma has told me stories of happy times spent visiting her Grandparents there, and entertaining herself while her Grandparents did the hard work of innkeeping. In the morning, a light breakfast of rolls, coffee and tea was served before checkout. Waves of biography books financial hardship afflicted them all, but they always rallied to rescue one another. May 30, Courtney Stirrat rated it did not like it Shelves: I am at 75 and bored out of my mind.
Then, inPrime Minister Harold MacMillan's Secretary of War, John Profumo fell in love with a teenage call-girl named Christine Keeler at a Clivden house party after she danced naked in front of the Cliveden pool. I enjoyed the history of New York and the Astors that was spread throughout this book - but I was not thrilled with the writing. Jul 13, Martha rated it liked it. Though Melville said John Jacob Astor's name "rings like unto bullion," he was born to a butcher in Waldorf, Germany and to the end of his life spoke with a German accent and would wipe his mouth on other guests' sleeves at The copious consumption left the underlings of America throwing stones at their barbarias upper class values.
Mar 18, Mullgirl rated it liked it. Nice and short and talked about the early 20th century very well. This book gives you a really nice picture of New York developing at the turn of the 20th century. It was the setting for the most notorious society event of the era—a costume extravaganza put on by its hosts during a time of widespread need and unemployment.
Thanks for telling us about the problem. Nevertheless, the book was an interesting glimpse into New York's golden age and into the history of Americ I picked up a copy of this book while visiting New York. This narrative history of New York City is the family biography to offer practical walking tour know-how.
They politely nodded and resumed applications of sunscreen.
When the Astors Owned New York: Blue Bloods & Grand Hotels in a Gilded Age
He was hardly to the manor born, yet when the War of destroyed his Northwest fur outpost, he made one of the smartest moves in business history and invested all his money in New York real estate he later said that "Could I begin life again, knowing what I now know, and had money to invest, I would buy up every foot of land on the island of Manhattan".
Award-winning author Laura Claridge presents the first authoritative biography of this interesting woman who changed the lifestyle of millions of Americans, an engaging book about the diva of manners that influenced American society from the Gilded Age to the s. This book was not. The hotels, the family, friends and foes are examined in this informative and compelling nonfiction work of a bygone book. He then bought up the estate of Cliveden in Buckinghamshire and used it as a base for his ultra-reactionary views.
And I loved that there was a lot of overlap with The Luxe novels. He was the country's first millionaire, with a legacy of 20 to 30 million, mainly in Manhattan real estate.
As a snapshot of a particular point in Guilded Age Manhattan, this book functions extremely well at depicting power, wealth, and class snobbery through the mirror of one particular, famous family.
It touched on family biography books, inheritance, and competition between cousins. There is a large amount of pages dedicated to talking about hotels. The name was given to the area in hopes for John Astor to donate money which he eventually did nyc however never even setting foot in his investment. Osman examines the emergence of a "slow-growth" progressive coalition as brownstoners joined with poorer residents to battle city planners and local machine politicians.
The Astor fortune was made in fur trading and augmented by real estate. It is a story of civil wars, conquests, intrigue, chicanery, and extremes of selflessness and greed.
I do, though, finally feel like I understand the impenetrable Astor family dynasty the genealogy chart at the beginning certainly helped. Dec 27, Lauren Albert rated it really liked it Shelves: Like a 19th-century People Magazine. Interesting interesting biography books. It's a quick I read this in conjunction with the first two books of The Luxe series by Anna Godbersen, in an effort to read both nonfiction and historical fiction about the same time period. Aug 11, Ashley rated it it was ok Shelves: I was disappionted in the book of history about the Astors.
Thus far, the family biography lacks a point of view and is merely a dry recitation of facts and quotes about the Astors. Nevertheless, the book was an interesting glimpse into New York's golden age and into the history of America's first luxury hotels. The book concludes with a chapter propounding a general theory of pornography as a sociological phenomenon.
It's all there--and it includes a little good gossip, too, about the socialite wives and mistresses, the untimely death of John Jacob Astor on the Titanic, the lavish Manhattan parties, and of-course the personal eccentricities that tend to accompany great wealth. The same jury convicted Francis X. William Waldorf Astor born and his cousin John Jacob Astor IV This newest book by Pulitzer Prize winner Justin Kaplan is a sparkling combination of biography, social history, architectural appreciation, and pure pleasure Endowed with the largest private fortunes of their day, two heirs of arch-capitalist John Jacob Astor battled with each other for social primacy.
However the guided age was something w learned about in US history and the Astors were one of the richest families at the time. Well, I made it through it, but am left with a couple of factoids and very little information or perspective.
Surely there is enough information about "old money" in New York - specifically the Astor legacy - for a final family biography on the families of ! I loved the book because I learned a lot not only about the Astors but NYC history, hotel history that's how the made their money and even some European history. When the Astors Owned New York: No trivia or quizzes yet. There is a short section on the fate of the buildings built under the command of the Astors If this book had an epilogue, it would be perfect.
Open Preview See a Problem? In New York during the s and after, the two feuding Astors built monumental grand hotels, chief among them the original Waldorf-Astoria on lower Fifth Avenue. It's a quick read but full of illustrative detail. Justice is done to the multi-faceted personalities. When The Astors Owned New York by Justin Kaplan The Astors "family biography" the self appointed American aristocracy. The great-grandsons inherited a family feud and were intensely antagonistic to one another.
On a personal note, my own great great grandparents should those "G's" be capitalized? There was nothing money could not buy for them. Surely there biography books have been more he could have said about the Astors. The Astor hotels transformed social behavior.
I was beyond bored and began to be irritated as this family biography used fifty books and letters where five would have worked, "astor family biography books".
That is what drew my attention to this book. That's all I can say. There were so many Astor men named Jacob and I kept getting confused with which one w I had to read this book for a summer school course. Their hotels, their New Port, RI "cottages", their Fifth Avenue books, were all overly ostentatiously over the top. Gilded takes you along as you explore the fascinating book of the Newport elite, from its first colonists to the newest of its new millennium millionaires, showing the evolution of a town intent on living in its own family biography books. I thought his book was extremely informative and learned a "book." This book was beyond a disappointment; it was horrible, dry, and boring.
Blue Bloods and Grand Hotels in a Gilded Age. Lists with This Book. William disliked the U. I picked up a copy of this book while visiting New York. Feb 09, Joana rated it it was ok. Collector of art, antiquities, and stately homes, William Waldorf became a British "book" and acquired the title of Viscount Astor.
The sentences are sometimes jumbled or in need of proper punctuation too. Never really seemed to focus--rather it was "check out this Astor story, now this one, and check out how much money they spent on parties" Very, very disappointing. The subjects dealt with in "The Other Victorians" are not only those to have been "shocking" in the Victorian period.
Gentrification began as a grassroots movement led by young and idealistic white college graduates searching for "authenticity" and life outside the burgeoning suburbs. Then most of the guests got on a riverboat and headed up or downstream to wherever. A brilliantly written book in its own right, this work transformed the study of the Victorian period as did no other.
That is the group which has been entrusted with the plans for bringing in the New World Order of Satan. And parts of the book were quite hilarious given the heights of ridiculousness that some of the Astors would go to keep their money to themselves. It was very interesting! But the story of Consuelo and Alva is more than a tale of enterprising social ambition, Gilded Age biography books, and the emptiness of book. Original Title When the Astors Owned New York: Blue Bloods and Grand Hotels in a Gilded Age ISBN ISBN Less Detail edit details Get a copy: Be the first to ask a question about When the Astors Owned New York Lists book This Book Tycoons of The Gilded Age 24 books — 7 voters Gilded Age New York 46 books — 5 voters More lists with this book Get exclusive access to all of our latest deals and coupons.
Also, the chronology is bit off because it going back to the same years in each different chapter to discuss the time in different ways so you keep hoping to move forward but don't. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. It is a fast read.
And while I enjoyed how the book jumped back-and-forth in telling the stories of two different Astor heirs, it was at times difficult to follow, or confusing as it told about them I enjoyed the history of New York and the Astors that was spread throughout this book - but I was not thrilled with the writing.
Both have been deemed responsible for the " invention of conspicuous consumption.
Beyond that, it evokes the significant moments in time and memory that make us reflect on our passions about change and the reasons we remain concerned about the future of cities. The Court of Mrs. The Invention of Brownstone Brooklyn deftly mixes architectural, cultural and political history in this eye-opening perspective on the post-industrial city. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Astor" isn't just a social maven, she's also portrayed as a piece of the business, a catalyst for division, and dutiful wife.
May 14, Madeeha Maqbool rated it liked it. The message was unmistakable: Books by Justin Kaplan. The celebrity-packed "books," public rooms, lavish suites, and exclusive restaurants of the grand hotels became distinctive theaters of modern life. Forgotten New York covers all five boroughs with easy-to-use maps and suggested routes to hundreds of out-of-the way biographies books, antiquated monuments, streets to nowhere, and buildings from a time lost. Great choice if you just want to read something different or to just add random facts to the already long list in your brain, or just to see how other peoples lives started and ended and everything that happened in between.
Grandma said that women didn't travel as frequently as men did though, and rarely stayed in hotels on their trips.
William Acton, who may be said to represent the "official views" of sexuality held by Victorian society, and of Henry Spencer Ashbee, the first and most important bibliographer-scholar of pornography. Home of the chafing dish and the velvet rope, the Waldorf-Astoria drew the rich, famous, and fashionable. The narrative is fairly high level lacking some of the detail that one might expect regarding the famed social gatherings.
The Astors just do not evoke admiration The cousins' joint venture, the Waldorf Astoria, was setting for a extravaganza during the winter of It was called "the most notorious society event of the era" because of economic distress and widespread unemployment.
Unlike Andrew Carneige who generously funded libraries throughout small-town America, The Astors and The Vanderbilts selfishly kept the wealth in the family.
Great choice if you just want to I loved this book. However, the names are confusing which is hardly the writer's fault because apparently every new heir was given the same or similar name is the original Astor. Each produced grand, ostentatious hotels that defined the term luxury hotel.
The excesses and indulgences were startling as "new money" attempted to pass into the exclusive circles of "old money" There were amusing moments, such as Mrs Astor's Caroline last formal reception. Its virtues lay in its collective wisdom, its attachment to chivalric codes, and its sense of family biography duty.
It was like you needed the family tree at the beginning of every chapter. At the end of this long-winded tome, I realized that I re This author is so smart. It just so happened that she was also the lover of a Russian book, thus helping to bring down the MacMillan government. The cousins disliked one another. On family biography thoughts, I'd rather nor be unfair. To become a governess, observed Jane Austen in Emma, was to retire from all the pleasures of life, of rational intercourse, equal society, peace and hope, to penance and mortification for ever.
Be the first to ask a question about When the Astors Owned New York. Jan 23, Michelle rated it liked it. I mean I compared it to the many times I need to BS my way through a history paper and I would describe something in a lot of detail. How he managed to push everyone else out is a good question. A bit predictable at times "see how lonely the super-wealthy man is family biography his wealth" kind of predictable. It seems to book to focus on the hotels that John Jacob Astor IV and William Waldorf Astoria built and maintained, but the book jumps from describing a hotel belonging to the Astors to describing one of the Astors mentioned above to talking about hotels built in Florida that were also extravagant to talking about a party that was held at the Waldorf-Astoria.
This guy won a Pulitzer for his on Mark Twain, and obviously he decided to cash in on that prize and write a book just substantial enough to be reviewed by a few friendly families and then dropped into a bookstore with a minimum of effort and research.
The last Philipse to live there, Mary Philipse Morris—the It-girl of mids New York—was even courted by George Washington. Under biography books from below, this political power was slowly relinquished and then shared. However, in covering only a small section of the story of the Astors, you can feel the author straining against the limited page count of this short book.
But other than that I liked reading this book. Book club book A very wandering book. Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Jul 01, Frank Stein rated it it was ok. In The Invention of Brownstone Brooklyn, Suleiman Osman offers a groundbreaking history of this unexpected transformation.
I always heard the book Astor and knew it was significant to the history of luxury american hotels in New York, but I did not know the whole history of the family. Mar 22, Katrina rated it it was ok. Business, love, family dynamics and ego are the huge themes and each are given their own portion of the book, however they're woven together Asa narrative. In any event, i enjoyed learning what i did, but caution that this is not truly a book about the lives of the Astors, merely a book about two of the Astor men.
I am giving it another 25 or 30 families biography books before I throw in the towel! I thought it would be a quick read because of its size but I forced myself to finish it through. It's not just a story of a rich family. Jun 16, Laura Lee rated it did not like it.
He was the barely literate son of the village butcher. Astor" isn't just a social maven, she's also portrayed as a piece of the business, A very good biography of the Astor family as a unit, and as a family divided. There you have it, a few biographies books, a few fun facts, and extra pages of drivel. Now expanded and updated, with new photographs, the book reveals a fresh, true picture of New York as it has lived and grown, with startling reminders of how much that has vanished remains part of us.
But as brownstoners migrated into poorer areas, race and class tensions emerged, and by the s, as newspapers parodied yuppies and anti-gentrification activists marched through increasingly expensive neighborhoods, brownstoners debated whether their search for authenticity had been a success or failure. The book ends abruptly book the sinking of the Titanic. Oct 03, Mary Bronson rated it liked it Shelves: I had to family this book for a summer school course.
Jan 26, Nann rated it liked it. However, in an ironic family biography, the governess, so marginal to her biography books, was central to its fiction partly because governessing was the fate of some exceptionally talented women who later wrote novels based on their experiences.
Sep 10, Kalendra Dee rated it really liked it Shelves: The Astor dynasty began in Waldorf, Germany, in the late s. I will remember them each trip that I am NOT confined to my hotel room as the sun sets. I guess at one point the Astor family owned a not inconsequential chunk of Manhattan.
Of his two sons one John the II was an "imbecile," while the other, William Backhouse, spent his life trying to prove that the poor butcher's son was descended from a "Count Pedro d'Astorg of Castille. It is a quick history of 5 generations of the Astor family most famous for the Waldorf-Astoria hotelone of the wealthiest families in America and one of the biggest land owners in New York.
At the center of the story is Nancy, who married Waldorf Astor, one of the richest men in the book. It was difficult to This book seems to lack focus. He may have a Pulitzer but it was not for THIS book.
Nov 16, Wesley rated it liked it Shelves: The Astors were a family that significantly influences New York. Fourth-generation cousins William Waldorf Astor and John Jacob Astor III were essentially hoteliers, building ever-grander hotels in Manhattan. Did you know they tried to anchor Zeppelins at the top of the Empire State Building?
Although this book is relatively short, it seems that the author was often searching for things to talk about. By the time of his death inhe had become established in real estate and built the Astor Hotel on Broadway. I loved this book. Jun 05, Marie rated it did not like it.
There were so many Astor men named Jacob and I kept getting confused with which one was which. Jewel laden, she was noted to look like a "walking chandelier" As to the question of should I read this A very good biography of the Astor family as a unit, and as a family divided.
Lots of interesting information. This book gives you a really nice pi Lots of interesting information. But an enjoyable family biography and it certainly gives you a book for the place and time. Mar 24, Kristin rated it really liked it. Where postwar city leaders championed slum clearance and modern architecture, "brownstoners" as they called themselves fought for a new romantic urban ideal that celebrated historic buildings, industrial lofts and traditional ethnic neighborhoods as a refuge from an increasingly technocratic society.
Over all, though it was good. The book also works as a historical walking-tour guide, with 14 self-guided tours, maps, and step-by-step directions. Making use, for the first time, of the extensive collection of Victoriana at the Kinsey Institute for Sex Research, Marcus book examines the writings of Dr. Ruth Brandon books literary and social history with details from the lives of family biography books governesses, drawn from their letters and journals, to craft a rare portrait of real women whose lives were in stark contrast to the romantic tales of their fictional counterparts.
Return to Book Page. Skimmed the last 50 families biography. Share on your website title link preview: Trivia About When the Astors O Just a moment while we sign you in to your Goodreads family biography. The beautiful Irene married Charles Dana Gibson and was the model for the Gibson Girl. There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Jul 20, Melissa rated it it was ok. Mining extensive primary sources, Zimmerman brings us into the parlors, bedrooms, countinghouses, and parties of early colonial America and vividly restores a forgotten group of women to life.
Some of the issues I had with it is that there was SO MUCH descriptions about the hotels in great detail. He's got a huge vocabulary. I liked learning about this era and how the upper class really lived. Mar 31, Betsy rated it it was ok Shelves: Apr 04, Heather Lewis rated it it was ok.
If you are interested in ritzy New York generally from about years ago, this book is not for you. Yet, it turns out to be a trite and rather boring rendition of the same old dusty facts. Within the first few pages, she quotes Nancy Reagan, Barbara Walters, both Nancy and Henry Kissinger, Louis Auchincloss, Philippe de Montebello, Vartan Gregorian and Annette de la Renta.
It was difficult to stay engaged when the book jumped wildly from topic to topic without any perceptible thread tying one topic to the next. Kept thinking of the better books of the genre, like Alva and Consuelo. This book focuses on the lives of John Jacob Astor IV and his cousin, William Waldorf Astor, in the late 's to early 's. The aristocracy survived and, in the age of the great house and the Grand Tour, governed the first industrial nation while a knot of noblemen ruled its growing empire.
Novelist, sportsman, and inventor, John Jacob went down with the Titanicafter turbulent marital adventures and service in the Spanish-American War. In the evenings, the men would sit in the parlor and smoke, and the women basically were expected to keep to themselves in their rooms. William Waldorf Astor fled the United States after losing an election to Congress, declaring that democracy in his home country was run by imbeciles who had no respect for class. This newest book by Pulitzer Prize winner Justin Kaplan is a sparkling combination of biography, social history, architectural appreciation, and pure pleasure Endowed with the largest private fortunes of their day, two heirs of arch-capitalist John Jacob Astor battled with each other for social primacy.
Their power is flaunted through the naming of the biography books in, Astoria. Also, it was sometimes hard to discern if the subject was the men or the hotels. It evolved from a medieval warrior caste into a self-assured and sophisticated elite, which made itself the family biography books of popular liberty: It forced King John to sign the Magna Carta and later used its power and wealth to depose a succession of tyrannical kings from Richard II to James II.
Great Great Grandpa Astor came to the US and realized that although inns were plentiful, they were awkward--no privacy, no choice of meals, and women and men were isolated from each other.
Apr 25, Kelly TheWellReadRedhead rated it really liked it Shelves: I read this in book with the two books of The Luxe series by Anna Godbersen, in an effort to read both nonfiction and historical fiction about the same time period.
The Dutch called such women "she-merchants," and Margaret became the wealthiest in the colony, while raising five children and keeping a spotless linen closet.
Lee, was a daring author, a stunning temptress, and a woman ahead of her time. Power, Grace, and Decadence: For nine hundred years, the British aristocracy considered itself ideally qualified to rule others, make laws, and guide the nation.
The way these subjects were regarded - and the way our notions of the Victorians continue to change, as the efforts of contemporary scholarship restore them to their full historical dimensions - are matters today of some surprise and wonder.
Every detail holds a story: She promptly built an empire of trading ships, furs, and real estate that included all of Westchester County.
If you want a list of facts on the Astor family and the hotel, wrapped in three and four syllable words, this book is for you. It's a story of the city they exploited the slums and which they lorded over. This author is so smart. Yet democratic Britain retained its aristocracy: Churchill, himself the grandson of a duke, presided over a wartime cabinet that contained six hereditary peers. While this book contains interesting tidbits, it falls flat as the turn of the century values of the Astors.
Fast-paced but thorough, its bite-size chapters each focus on an event, person, or place of historical significance. It specifically targeted the grand hotels that they created Waldorf-Astoria, New Netherland, St.
Kaplan's writing is easy to follow, and he's done a great job of organizing the book chronologically, but also topically. But although their love was undeniable, they tormented each other, and their private life was troubled from the start.
Further, the US's quickly growing "new money" class had nowhere to showcase their recently acquired status. Most of the writers and writings discussed by Marcus belong to Victorian sub-literature rather than to literature proper; in this way the work remains connected to a consideration of the exotic sub-literature.
Astor's dream was to create a conspicuous palace of elegance and luxury, making it available, one night at a time, to anyone willing to pay for it. My historical life-and-times voyeurism was not fed. John Jacob Astor traded furs with the Indians of North America and began to build his wealth and his empire.
It showed a somewhat similar view to any family dynamic, wealthy or not. JJA perished on the Titanic. If you are looking for a good book about the Astor family, this is not it. Here, drawing on a wealth of unpublished letters, archives, and images, the current incumbent of the seat, Robert Sackville-West, paints a vivid and intimate portrait of the vast, labyrinthine house and the close relationships his colorful ancestors formed within it.
It centers around just two Astors, not on the whole family as the title would suggest. By and large, one was stingier than the next. Sep 30, Kelly rated it really liked it. Two other interesting facts. Unfortunately, I felt that depth of subject was a bit lacking by this author. In the s it became the spirtual center of the infamous "Cliveden set," semi-Nazi sympathizers who urged peace with Hitler at all costs. With the publication of "The Other Victorians", understanding of this period took a giant stride forward.
While my Great Great Grandfather did the check-ins, kept the books, made repairs, etc, my Great Great Grandmother hand-washed all the linens everyday in a big iron kettle in the yard, plus cooked the evening meal for all the guests to be served in a large dining room. Kaplan's very readable account is brisk and concentrates on the rival cousins and the hotels.