Hearst Castle: The Biography of a Country House

Hearst Castle: The Biography of a Country House

by Victoria Kastner
     
 

Newspaper tycoon William Randolph Hearst and his legendary California estate occupy a place in the public imagination through Orson Welles' Citizen Kane, but Kane's brooding Xanadu was merely a caricature of Hearst's exuberant castle at San Simeon. This new book sets the record straight and proves that, for once, truth is better than fiction.

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Overview

Newspaper tycoon William Randolph Hearst and his legendary California estate occupy a place in the public imagination through Orson Welles' Citizen Kane, but Kane's brooding Xanadu was merely a caricature of Hearst's exuberant castle at San Simeon. This new book sets the record straight and proves that, for once, truth is better than fiction.

Here for the first time is the real story of Hearst Castle, and of the productive 28-year-relationship between hearst and his architect, Julia Morgan, who collaborated on the magnificent 165-room estate set on 250,000 breathtaking acres near the remote seaside hamlet of San Simeon, halfway between Los Angeles and San Francisco. Drawing on previously unpublished correspondence, and illustrated with never-before-seen historic photographs as well as more than 157 stunning color pictures, Victoria Kastner chronicles the evolution of this extraordinary hilltop, with its two spectacular pools and its astounding collections of fine art and antiques. Sprinkled throughout with stories of the famous parties hosted by Hearst and his companion, movie star Marion Davies, and their celebrated guests, this book brings to life America's most glamorous country house.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal - Library Journal
Hearst Castle in San Simeon, now a California state park, offers a glimpse of the high life lead by William Randolph Hearst. Though originally planned as a small bungalow at the family's favorite campsite, Hearst's building project grew and grew. Julia Morgan, the renowned San Francisco architect, gracefully coped with the continuous revisions to the project. Hearst had a love of art and style and the money to follow his fancy. Kastner, a member of the Hearst Castle staff and a student of its art, combines the history of the castle with details about its inhabitants and its builders in this splendid book. The pages are peppered with historic photos, architectural drawings, correspondences, and details of the castle's features and its art. You can practically smell the opulence of the place. Strongly recommended for regional collections and large public libraries across the country. (Final photos and index not seen.)--Karen Ellis, Nicholson Memorial Lib. Syst., Garland, TX Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.\
Bill Goldstein
Hearst Castle offers a lively narrative documenting the unusually collaborative relationship between Hearst and Julia Morgan, the ''first woman architect of prominence in America,'' according to Kastner, a member of the San Simeon staff. ... The architectural plans, drawings and contemporary photographs that document both the growth of the house and life with Hearst and Davies are accompanied by unusually informative captions that offer an entertaining supplement to the main text.
New York Times Book Review

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780810934153
Publisher:
Abrams, Harry N., Inc.
Publication date:
11/28/2000
Pages:
240
Sales rank:
609,510
Product dimensions:
9.50(w) x 12.25(h) x 1.00(d)
Age Range:
13 - 18 Years

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