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 societyfirst 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?
|Publisher:||Grand Central Publishing|
|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
About the Author 379
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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.
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.
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+++++++