From the creator of the New York Occasions bestseller The Ladies of Atomic Metropolis comes the fascinating true story behind the magnificent Gilded Age mansion Biltmore – the most important, grandest residence ever in-built the USA. Orphaned at a younger age, Edith Stuyvesant Dresser claimed lineage from one in every of New York’s greatest identified households. She grew up in Newport and Paris, and her engagement and marriage to George Vanderbilt was one of the watched occasions of Gilded Age society. However none of this ready her to be mistress of Biltmore Home. Earlier than their marriage, the rich and bookish Vanderbilt had devoted his life to making a spectacular European-style property on 125,000 acres of North Carolina wilderness. He summoned the well-known panorama architect Frederick Legislation Olmsted to tame the grounds, collaborated with celebrated architect Richard Morris Hunt to construct a 175,000-square-foot chateau, stuffed it with priceless artwork and antiques, and erected an enthralling village past the gates. Newlywed Edith was now mistress of an property almost 3 times the scale of Washington, DC and benefactress of the village and surrounding rural space. When fortunes shifted and altering instances threatened her household, her residence, and her neighborhood, it was as much as Edith to save lots of Biltmore – and safe the way forward for the area and her husband’s legacy. The story of Biltmore spans World Wars, the Jazz Age, the Melancholy, and generations of the well-known Vanderbilt household, and contains a fascinating forged of real-life characters together with F. Scott Fitzgerald, Thomas Wolfe, Teddy Roosevelt, John Singer Sargent, James Whistler, Henry James, and Edith Wharton. The Final Fortress is the distinctive American story of how the most important home in America flourished, faltered, and in the end endured to today.
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