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Love, Fiercely: A Gilded Age Romance
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Published:
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 2012
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Description

The true story of the New York society couple portrayed in the John Singer Sargent painting—an architect and an heiress who became passionate reformers. Contemporaries of the Astors and Vanderbilts, they grew up together along the shores of bucolic Staten Island, linked by privilege—her grandparents built the world's fastest clipper ship, while his family owned most of Murray Hill. Theirs was a world filled with mansions, balls, summer homes, and extended European vacations. This fascinating biography re-creates the glittering world of Edith Minturn and Isaac Newton Phelps Stokes—and reveals how their love for each other was matched by their dedication to others. Newton became a passionate preserver of New York history and published the finest collection of Manhattan maps and views in a six-volume series. Edith became the face of the age when Daniel Chester French sculpted her for Chicago's Columbian Exposition, a colossus intended to match the Statue of Liberty's grandeur. But beyond their life of prominence and prestige, Edith and Newton battled together on behalf of New York's poor and powerless—and through it all, sustained a strong-rooted marriage. From the splendid cottages of the Berkshires to the salons of 1890s Paris, Love, Fiercely tells the real-life story behind Mr. and Mrs. I .N. Phelps Stokes—one of the Gilded Age's most famous works of art. "With an impressive amount of research behind every page, Zimmerman manages to capture the sweeping drama of the turn of the century as well as the compelling story of a couple who knew how to love, fiercely. Her superb pacing and gripping narrative will appeal to all who enjoy history, biography, and real-life romance." —Library Journal

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Format:
Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read
Street Date:
3/13/2012
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780547760513
ASIN:
B005LVR6WS
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Citations
APA Citation (style guide)

Jean Zimmerman. (2012). Love, Fiercely: A Gilded Age Romance. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Jean Zimmerman. 2012. Love, Fiercely: A Gilded Age Romance. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Jean Zimmerman, Love, Fiercely: A Gilded Age Romance. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2012.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Jean Zimmerman. Love, Fiercely: A Gilded Age Romance. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2012. Web.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2010. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
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Date Added:
Jun 12, 2018 16:41:00
Date Updated:
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        Jean Zimmerman is the author of four previous books, including The Women of the House: How a Colonial She-Merchant Built a Mansion, A Fortune, and A Dynasty. She earned an MFA in writing from the Columbia University School of the Arts and has published her poetry widely in literary magazines. She lives with her family in Westchester County, New York.

      • name: Jean Zimmerman
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Love, Fiercely
fullDescription

The true story of the New York society couple portrayed in the John Singer Sargent painting—an architect and an heiress who became passionate reformers.

Contemporaries of the Astors and Vanderbilts, they grew up together along the shores of bucolic Staten Island, linked by privilege—her grandparents built the world's fastest clipper ship, while his family owned most of Murray Hill. Theirs was a world filled with mansions, balls, summer homes, and extended European vacations. This fascinating biography re-creates the glittering world of Edith Minturn and Isaac Newton Phelps Stokes—and reveals how their love for each other was matched by their dedication to others.

Newton became a passionate preserver of New York history and published the finest collection of Manhattan maps and views in a six-volume series. Edith became the face of the age when Daniel Chester French sculpted her for Chicago's Columbian Exposition, a colossus intended to match the Statue of Liberty's grandeur. But beyond their life of prominence and prestige, Edith and Newton battled together on behalf of New York's poor and powerless—and through it all, sustained a strong-rooted marriage.

From the splendid cottages of the Berkshires to the salons of 1890s Paris, Love, Fiercely tells the real-life story behind Mr. and Mrs. I .N. Phelps Stokes—one of the Gilded Age's most famous works of art.

"With an impressive amount of research behind every page, Zimmerman manages to capture the sweeping drama of the turn of the century as well as the compelling story of a couple who knew how to love, fiercely. Her superb pacing and gripping narrative will appeal to all who enjoy history, biography, and real-life romance." —Library Journal

reviews
      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        January 16, 2012
        In one of his most controversial paintings, John Singer Sargent captured the unconventionality of a young couple in simple street clothes that belie their wealthy Gilded Age roots. Zimmerman’s (Manhattan) unsentimental depiction of vibrant Edith Minturn Stokes (nicknamed “Fiercely” by her brother) and the cerebral but original architect Newton Stokes showcases the major episodes in the lives of the couple, whose stilted courtship led to lifelong marital devotion that lasted through success, fame, and eventual impoverishment. The force of character that Sargent captured in his portrait of Edith was also embodied as the sculptural face of the 1893 Chicago Columbian Exposition’s The Republic, making the young suffragist an icon of the era even as her husband designed greatly improved tenement housing for the poor and began the collection that would grow into his masterful six-volume iconography of Manhattan. More of an appreciation for lives well lived than a traditional romance, this biography offers insight into the wealthy during the increasingly progressive turn of the 20th century. 16 pages of b&w photos. Agent: Betsy Lerner of Dunow, Carlson & Lerner Literary Agency.

      • premium: True
      • source: Kirkus
      • content:

        January 15, 2012
        Zimmerman (The Women of the House: How a Colonial She-Merchant Built a Mansion, a Fortune, and a Dynasty, 2006, etc.) examines the mysterious couple in John Singer Sargent's famous painting Mr. and Mrs. I.N. Phelps Stokes. This "Gilded Age romance" is both a starry-eyed look at how the wealthy lived during the turn of the century and a love story full of highs and lows. The woman in the painting was Edith Minturn, nicknamed "Fiercely" for her independent streak, whose family made a fortune from shipbuilding, which it lost and regained. The man in the painting was her husband I.N. Phelps Stokes, who, though his family was in banking, was set on becoming an architect. The portrait that immortalized them was a wedding gift to the new couple, intended to show the new bride in all of her elegant finery. Instead, Sargent presented a portrait of young American vitality and, possibly, a feminist statement in a time when women were struggling for the right to vote. Zimmerman, like Sargent, sees something more in these two. She was a classic beauty who served as the model for the Statue of the Republic at the famous World's Columbian Exhibition and became a devoted wife, mother and advocate for the poor. He was a talented builder whose dreams of affordable housing for the underclass were derailed by an obsessive desire to complete a massive study titled The Iconography of Manhattan Island. Their lives were big but not dramatic; they were the kind of people who would have inspired James and Wharton, but whose own stories seem mostly interior. Zimmerman tells an intriguing history from the available evidence, but Sargent's subjects ultimately remain out of reach.

        COPYRIGHT(2012) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        Starred review from April 1, 2012

        Demonstrating the same flare as in her previous biography, Zimmerman (The Women of the House: How a Colonial She-Merchant Built a Mansion, a Fortune, and a Dynasty) pays respect to the lives and times of Edith Minturn Stokes and Isaac Newton Phelps Stokes. Edith and Newton, as he was called, who married in 1895, were born in New York to immense privilege and became patrons of the arts and advocates for immigrant rights. The two knew each other as children and eventually fell in love. Newton, a respected architect in his own right, pulled together a massive multivolume documentary history, The Iconography of Manhattan Island, and Edith worked for many charitable organizations. Zimmerman chronicles their personal lives and love, from the heights of financial success to the depths of deteriorating health and wealth, while also encapsulating the era in which they lived. VERDICT With an impressive amount of research behind every page, Zimmerman manages to capture the sweeping drama of the turn of the century as well as the compelling story of a couple who knew how to love, fiercely. Her superb pacing and gripping narrative will appeal to all who enjoy history, biography, and real-life romance. [See Prepub Alert, 12/5/11.]--Crystal Goldman, San Jose State Univ. Lib., CA

        Copyright 2012 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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shortDescription

The true story of the New York society couple portrayed in the John Singer Sargent painting—an architect and an heiress who became passionate reformers.

Contemporaries of the Astors and Vanderbilts, they grew up together along the shores of bucolic Staten Island, linked by privilege—her grandparents built the world's fastest clipper ship, while his family owned most of Murray Hill. Theirs was a world filled with mansions, balls, summer homes, and extended European vacations. This fascinating biography re-creates the glittering world of Edith Minturn and Isaac Newton Phelps Stokes—and reveals how their love for each other was matched by their dedication to others.

Newton became a passionate preserver of New York history and published the finest collection of Manhattan maps and views in a six-volume series. Edith became the face of the age when Daniel Chester French sculpted her for Chicago's Columbian Exposition, a colossus...

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