Double Exposure: A Twin Autobiography

Double Exposure: A Twin Autobiography

by Gloria Morgan Vanderbilt, Lady Thelma Furness

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Overview

In 1921 there burst upon the New York social scene the famous Morgan twins, Thelma and Gloria, whose names in the decade that followed came to spell glamour and excitement in that magic world of the “international set.” Two continents thrilled to Thelma Furness’s romances with Richard Bennett, Lord Furness, the Prince of Wales, Aly Khan, and Edmund Lowe. The whole world followed with bated breath the searing custody trial over young Gloria that pitted mother against daughter and shook the Vanderbilts and society. While much has been written from the outside about all of this, the two principals have never before disclosed the real truth behind the rumors and the headlines. And exciting as are their personal adventures and escapades, their story is also a portrait of an era.

In every age there have been certain women who through a combination of beauty and personality have attracted the love and admiration of rich or famous men, and who seem to be the embodiments of the feminine charm of the period. The Edwardian era had its Lily Langtry, the Napoleonic its Josephine, the eighteenth century its Du Barry and its Lady Hamilton—and so on back to antiquity. In our time, among those women who have come close to fitting this role are Lady Furness and Gloria Vanderbilt.

From childhood each had the elusive qualities that characterize the femme fatale. Both knew the love of many men, both suffered deeply, and now both have happily risen above the vicissitudes of their checkered careers and face the future with gallantry, humor, and without rancor or bitterness over the past. In this spirit, and with all sincerity, they have set down the story of their lives.

In Double Exposure, we are given a matchless picture of life among the great—and the near-great—in the now-vanished world between the two wars. Above all, we come to know the minds and hearts and philosophy of life and love of two fascinating women, and something of the nature of fascination itself.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781787204393
Publisher: Papamoa Press
Publication date: 04/07/2017
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 328
Sales rank: 164,475
File size: 7 MB

About the Author

Gloria Morgan Vanderbilt (August 23, 1904 - February 13, 1965), born Maria Mercedes Morgan, was a Swiss-born American socialite best known as the wife of Reginald Vanderbilt and the mother of fashion designer and artist Gloria Vanderbilt. She was a central figure in Vanderbilt vs. Whitney, one of the most sensational American custody trials in the 20th century.

Her identical twin sister, Thelma Furness, Viscountess Furness (23 August 1904 - 29 January 1970), born Thelma Morgan, was a mistress of King Edward VIII while he was still the Prince of Wales, whilst she was married to a British nobleman, Marmaduke Furness, 1st Viscount Furness. The marriage ended the year before her relationship with the Prince ended.

Born at the Grand Hotel National in Lucerne, Switzerland to Henry Hays Morgan, Sr., an American diplomat, and his half-Chilean, half-Irish-American wife, Laura Delphine Kilpatrick, the Morgan sisters were educated by governesses and in convents in Europe and New York City, where they attended the Catholic Convent of the Sacred Heart, the Skerton Finishing School, and Miss Nightingale’s School. In October 1921, with their father’s permission, the sisters, reportedly 16 years of age, ended their schooling and moved by themselves into an apartment at 40 Fifth Avenue, a private townhouse. The sisters had some minor roles in silent movies, using the names Gloria and Thelma Rochelle. Their debuts were as extras in the 1922 Marion Davies vehicle The Young Diana. Known as “The Magnificent Morgans”, Gloria and Thelma Morgan were popular society fixtures, even as teenagers.

From the 1940s until their deaths, they lived together in New York City and in Los Angeles, California.

Mrs. Vanderbilt died in 1965 of cancer and was interred at Holy Cross Cemetery in Culver City, California. Five years later, her sister Thelma died of a heart attack and was buried by her side.

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