The Phantom of Fifth Avenue: The Mysterious Life and Scandalous Death of Heiress Huguette Clark

The Phantom of Fifth Avenue: The Mysterious Life and Scandalous Death of Heiress Huguette Clark

by Meryl Gordon

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Overview

Born in 1906, Huguette Clark grew up in her family's 121-room Beaux Arts mansion in New York and was one of the leading celebrities of her day. Her father William Andrews Clark, was a copper magnate, the second richest man in American, and not above bribing his way into the Senate.
Huguette attended the coronation of King George V. And at twenty-two with a personal fortune of $50 million to her name, she married a Princeton man and childhood friend William MacDonald Gower. Two-years later the couple divorced. After a series of failed romances, Huguette began to withdraw from society—first living with her mother in a kind of Grey Gardens isolation then as a modern-day Miss Havisham, spending her days in a vast apartment overlooking Central Park, eating crackers and watching The Flintstones with only servants for company.
All her money and all her real estate could not protect her in her later life from being manipulated by shady hangers-on and hospitals that were only too happy to admit (and bill) a healthy woman. But what happened to Huguette that turned a vivacious, young socialite into a recluse? And what was her life like inside that gilded, copper cage?

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781455512652
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Publication date: 05/12/2015
Pages: 400
Sales rank: 139,450
Product dimensions: 5.25(w) x 8.12(h) x 1.12(d)

About the Author

Meryl Gordon is the author of Mrs. Astor Regrets: The Hidden Betrayals of a Family Beyond Reproach. She is an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in Vanity Fair, the New York Times, and New York Magazine, and the director of Magazine Writing at New York University's Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute. A native of Rochester, New York, she lives on Manhattan's Upper West Side with her husband, Walter Shapiro.

Table of Contents

Character List ix

Family Tree xii

Chapter 1 The Clark Family Reunion at the Corcoran 1

Chapter 2 The Quest for "Tante Huguette" 13

Chapter 3 Huguette's Walk in Central Park 27

Chapter 4 The Copper King 38

Chapter 5 The Reinvention of Anna 52

Chapter 6 A Parisian Girlhood 71

Chapter 7 The Fractured Fairy Tale 91

Chapter 8 Beginnings and Endings 112

Chapter 9 Society Girl 135

Chapter 10 Alone Again 153

Chapter 11 Facts, Fiction, and Betrayal 170

Chapter 12 The Lady Vanishes 197

Chapter 13 A Change of Address 225

Chapter 14 The Constant Companion 241

Chapter 15 The Great Giveaway 262

Chapter 16 The Long Good-bye 286

Chapter 17 The Battle for Huguette's Fortune 317

Acknowledgments 347

Sources 351

Bibliography 365

Index 367

About the Author 379

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The Phantom of Fifth Avenue: The Mysterious Life and Scandalous Death of Heiress Huguette Clark 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
Shari4 More than 1 year ago
I truly enjoyed The Phantom of Fifth Avenue by Meryl Gordon. The research and writing are both very well executed. Huguette Clark is a very interesting public figure. She was born with a silver spoon in her mouth. By the time she was in her early twenties and ready to venture out on her own, she had inherited a fortune of roughly $50 million. But failed relationships and falling victim to shady characters led Huguette to a life of seclusion. It is a sad story, but one that is well told.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Mrs. Gordon did an exceptional job of not falling into the sensationalist trap of documenting Mrs. Clark's life.  This is a respectful, well-researched, and wonderful read.  This will be the definitive book on Clark for generations.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is the second book I have read about the Clark heiress. Both non-fiction books were very fascinating. Highly recommend both this book and "Empty Mansions." Another excellent fiction book is "The Partisan" by Willian Jarvis. All three books deserve A+++++++
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Its good.