The Phantom of Fifth Avenue: The Mysterious Life and Scandalous Death of Heiress Huguette Clark (Paperback)
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 America, 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?
About the Author
Meryl Gordon is the author of Mrs. Astor Regrets: The Hidden Betrayals of A Family Beyond Approach. She is an award-winning journalist and a regular contributor to Vanity Fair. She is on the graduate journalism faculty at New York University's Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute. She is considered an expert on elder abuse and has appeared on NPR, CNN, and other outlets whenever there is a high-profile case.
"A thrilling read...Meryl Gordon delivers quite a page-turner for this true-life mystery."—USA Today
"Insightful and intriguing, Gordon's book offers a rare glimpse into a privileged world-and twisted personal psychology-beyond imagining."—Kirkus
"A perfect choice for the Grey Gardens set."—Booklist
"Meticulously researched, Gordon's account catalogues every juicy detail and eccentricity amassed over a century....a rigorous, authoritative account of a 20th century enigma."—Publishers Weekly