Empty Mansions: The Mysterious Life of Huguette Clark and the Spending of a Great American Fortune The Mysterious Life of Huguette Clark and the Spending of a Great American Fortune, Bill Dedman
  • List: $22.50  |  Sale: $15.75
    Club: $11.25
    • Facebook Share
    • Twitter Share
    • Pinterest Share

Details

Empty Mansions: The Mysterious Life of Huguette Clark and the Spending of a Great American Fortune

Author: Bill Dedman, Paul Clark Newell, Jr.

Narrator: Kimberly Farr

Unabridged: 21 hr 25 min

Format: Digital Audiobook

Publisher: Random House Audio

Published: 09/10/2013

Genre: Biography & Autobiography - Rich & Famous

Synopsis

When Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist Bill Dedman noticed in 2009 a grand home for sale, unoccupied for nearly sixty years, he stumbled through a surprising portal into American history. Empty Mansions is a rich mystery of wealth and loss, connecting the Gilded Age opulence of the nineteenth century with a twenty-first-century battle over a $300 million inheritance. At its heart is a reclusive heiress named Huguette Clark, a woman so secretive that, at the time of her death at age 104, no new photograph of her had been seen in decades. Though she owned palatial homes in California, New York, and Connecticut, why had she lived for twenty years in a simple hospital room, despite being in excellent health? Why were her valuables being sold off? Was she in control of her fortune, or controlled by those managing her money?
 
Dedman has collaborated with Huguette Clark’s cousin, Paul Clark Newell, Jr., one of the few relatives to have frequent conversations with her. Dedman and Newell tell a fairy tale in reverse: the bright, talented daughter, born into a family of extreme wealth and privilege, who secrets herself away from the outside world.
 
Huguette was the daughter of self-made copper industrialist W. A. Clark, nearly as rich as Rockefeller in his day, a controversial senator, railroad builder, and founder of Las Vegas. She grew up in the largest house in New York City, a remarkable dwelling with 121 rooms for a family of four. She owned paintings by Degas and Renoir, a world-renowned Stradivarius violin, a vast collection of antique dolls. But wanting more than treasures, she devoted her wealth to buying gifts for friends and strangers alike, to quietly pursuing her own work as an artist, and to guarding the privacy she valued above all else.
 
The Clark family story spans nearly all of American history in three generations, from a log cabin in Pennsylvania to mining camps in the Montana gold rush, from backdoor politics in Washington to a distress call from an elegant Fifth Avenue apartment. The same Huguette who was touched by the terror attacks of 9/11 held a ticket nine decades earlier for a first-class stateroom on the second voyage of the Titanic.
 
Empty Mansions reveals a complex portrait of the mysterious Huguette and her intimate circle. We meet her extravagant father, her publicity-shy mother, her star-crossed sister, her French boyfriend, her nurse who received more than $30 million in gifts, and the relatives fighting to inherit Huguette’s copper fortune. Richly illustrated with more than seventy photographs, Empty Mansions is an enthralling story of an eccentric of the highest order, a last jewel of the Gilded Age who lived life on her own terms.

The audiobook edition includes bonus audio featuring phone calls between Paul Clark Newell, Jr. and Huguette Clark—believed to be the only known recording of her voice.

Praise for Empty Mansions
 
“An exhaustively researched, well-written account . . . a blood-boiling expose [that] will make you angry and will make you sad.”—The Seattle Times
 
“An evocative and rollicking read, part social history, part hothouse mystery, part grand guignol.”—The Daily Beast
 
“A childlike, self-exiled eccentric, [Huguette Clark] is the sort of of subject susceptible to a biography of broad strokes, which makes Empty Mansions, the first full-length account of her life, impressive for its delicacy and depth.”—Town & Country
 
“A spellbinding mystery.”—Booklist

Recommended

A Lotus Grows in the Mud, Goldie Hawn
A Lotus Grows in the Mud
by Goldie Hawn

With her trademark effervescence, Goldie delivers a personal look at private and powerful events that carried her through life: her father’s spontaneity; her mother’s courage; and the joy of being a daughter, a sister, a parent, and a lo...

Narrator: Goldie Hawn
Published: 02/10/2005

Pretty Mess, Erika Jayne
Pretty Mess
by Erika Jayne

Without her alter-ego Erika Jayne, Erika Girardi says she’d just be “another rich bitch with a plane”—so get ready for the dishy, tell-all memoir from show-stopping performer, model, singer, and beloved star of The Real House...

Narrator: Erika Jayne
Published: 03/20/2018

Si-cology 1 Tales and Wisdom from Duck Dynasty’s Favorite Uncle, Si Robertson
Si-cology 1
by Si Robertson

You know him from the hit A&E show Duck Dynasty—now you can enjoy Uncle Si’s tall tales, crazy exploits, and quirky one-liners in one raucous collection!“These hands are so fast, I can get your wallet before you know it. In a minut...

Narrator: Si Robertson
Published: 09/03/2013

Oprah A Biography, Kitty Kelley
Oprah
by Kitty Kelley

For the past twenty-five years, no one has been better at revealing secrets than Oprah Winfrey. On what is arguably the most influ¬ential show in television history, she has gotten her guests—often the biggest celebrities in the world&m...

Narrator: Kitty Kelley
Published: 04/13/2010

The Secrets of My Life A History, Caitlyn Jenner
The Secrets of My Life
by Caitlyn Jenner

In this remarkable memoir former Olympian and Kardashian family member Caitlyn Jenner reveals shocking and heartbreaking stories from her journey to become a transgender woman and fight for the LGBTQ+ community."Imagine denying your core and soul. ...

Narrator: Erin Bennett
Published: 04/25/2017

The Lonely Life An Autobiography, Bette Davis
The Lonely Life
by Bette Davis

Originally published in 1962, The Lonely Life is legendary silver screen actress Bette Davis's lively and riveting account of her life, loves, and marriages--now in ebook for the first time, and updated with an afterword she wrote just before her d...

Narrator: Suzanne Toren
Published: 08/22/2017

Between Two Worlds, Tyler Henry
Between Two Worlds
by Tyler Henry

From Tyler Henry, a twenty-year-old clairvoyant and star of E!’s hit reality series Hollywood Medium with Tyler Henry, comes a memoir about his journey as a medium thus far.Tyler Henry discovered his gift for communicating with the departed wh...

Narrator: Tyler Henry
Published: 11/01/2016

Happy, Happy, Happy My Life and Legacy as the Duck Commander, Phil Robertson
Happy, Happy, Happy
by Phil Robertson

This no-holds-barred autobiography chronicles the remarkable life of Phil Robertson, the original Duck Commander and Duck Dynasty® star, from early childhood through the founding of a family business.LIVING THE DREAMDuck calls—though the ...

Narrator: Alan Robertson
Published: 05/07/2013

Kris Jenner . . . And All Things Kardashian, Kris Jenner
Kris Jenner . . . And All Things Kardashian
by Kris Jenner

Everybody’s favorite “mom-ager” Kris Jenner shares the never-before-told story of the savvy businesswoman behind the multi-million dollar Kardashian empire.Kris Jenner executive produces and stars as matriarch on the hit reality sh...

Narrator: Marcia Strassman
Published: 11/01/2011
{"id":"326585","ean":"9780804149556","abr":"Unabridged","title":"Empty Mansions: The Mysterious Life of Huguette Clark and the Spending of a Great American Fortune","subtitle":"The Mysterious Life of Huguette Clark and the Spending of a Great American Fortune","author":"Bill Dedman","rating_average":"4.2","narrator":"Kimberly Farr","ubr_id":"326585","abr_id":"0","ubr_price":"22.50","abr_price":"0.00","ubr_memprice":"14.62","abr_memprice":"0.00","ubr_narrator":"Kimberly Farr","abr_narrator":"","ubr_length":"Unabridged: 13 hr 30 min","abr_length":"Abridged: "}