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The Girl on the Velvet Swing: Sex, Murder, and Madness at the Dawn of the Twentieth Century
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Hachette Book Group 2018
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In 1901, Evelyn Nesbit, the pin-up girl and penniless young actress, dined with Stanford White, the legendary architect whose works defined the New York landscape, at his 24th St. apartment. Evelyn drank champagne and was dazzled by a tour of White's decadent rooms, which included a sumptuous velvet couch swing on which Evelyn played. Evelyn was given more champagne, and lost consciousness. She woke, nearly naked, in bed next to White. White was forty-seven years old. Evelyn Nesbit was just sixteen.

Four years later, tarnished by the air of impropriety that in those days surrounded a lowly career in the theater, Evelyn would marry Harry Thaw, a playboy millionaire rumored to be mentally unstable, and in whom she confided the story of her encounter with Stanford White. One night in 1906, a vengeful Thaw shot and killed White before hundreds of theater-goers during a performance at Madison Square Garden-a venue designed by none other than White himself.

The city-and the nation that looked to it-erupted with news of the murder and ensuing trial, then the most sensational scandal in history: one so sordid that President Teddy Roosevelt himself would try and stop the press from covering it. But the murder of Stanford White stood for far more than tabloid scandal. Evelyn's shocking testimony would propel her to an uneasy stardom, an uncertain fortune, and send the case before the Supreme Court.

Filled with the glamour, jealousy, and danger of the Gilded Age, The Girl on the Velvet Swing is an immersive, richly detailed look at an America dominated by men of outsize fortunes, and at the women whose lives depended on them.

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Format:
OverDrive MP3 Audiobook, OverDrive Listen
Edition:
Unabridged
Street Date:
01/16/2018
Language:
English
ISBN:
9781549140198
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Citations
APA Citation (style guide)

Simon Baatz. (2018). The Girl on the Velvet Swing: Sex, Murder, and Madness at the Dawn of the Twentieth Century. Unabridged Hachette Book Group.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Simon Baatz. 2018. The Girl On the Velvet Swing: Sex, Murder, and Madness At the Dawn of the Twentieth Century. Hachette Book Group.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Simon Baatz, The Girl On the Velvet Swing: Sex, Murder, and Madness At the Dawn of the Twentieth Century. Hachette Book Group, 2018.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Simon Baatz. The Girl On the Velvet Swing: Sex, Murder, and Madness At the Dawn of the Twentieth Century. Unabridged Hachette Book Group, 2018.

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 16:59:37
Date Updated:
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fullDescription

In 1901, Evelyn Nesbit, the pin-up girl and penniless young actress, dined with Stanford White, the legendary architect whose works defined the New York landscape, at his 24th St. apartment. Evelyn drank champagne and was dazzled by a tour of White's decadent rooms, which included a sumptuous velvet couch swing on which Evelyn played. Evelyn was given more champagne, and lost consciousness. She woke, nearly naked, in bed next to White. White was forty-seven years old. Evelyn Nesbit was just sixteen.

Four years later, tarnished by the air of impropriety that in those days surrounded a lowly career in the theater, Evelyn would marry Harry Thaw, a playboy millionaire rumored to be mentally unstable, and in whom she confided the story of her encounter with Stanford White. One night in 1906, a vengeful Thaw shot and killed White before hundreds of theater-goers during a performance at Madison Square Garden-a venue designed by none other than White himself.

The city-and the nation that looked to it-erupted with news of the murder and ensuing trial, then the most sensational scandal in history: one so sordid that President Teddy Roosevelt himself would try and stop the press from covering it. But the murder of Stanford White stood for far more than tabloid scandal. Evelyn's shocking testimony would propel her to an uneasy stardom, an uncertain fortune, and send the case before the Supreme Court.

Filled with the glamour, jealousy, and danger of the Gilded Age, The Girl on the Velvet Swing is an immersive, richly detailed look at an America dominated by men of outsize fortunes, and at the women whose lives depended on them.

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

        October 9, 2017
        Baatz (For the Thrill of It: Leopold, Loeb, and the Murder That Shocked Jazz Age Chicago) buries the lead in this uneven account of one of the most sensational murders in New York City history, the 1906 murder of architect Stanford White. White was attending a musical revue at Madison Square Garden, a venue he designed, when he was shot three times in full view of the audience. The shooter was a man named Harry Thaw, whose motive was ostensibly chivalrous. He was seeking revenge for the 1901 date rape of his future wife, actress Evelyn Nesbit, and was later found not guilty by reason of insanity. The main narrative presents, without caveats, a chilling account of White drugging Nesbit in his townhouse and raping her while she was unconscious. Oddly, Baatz waits until the afterword to assert that “it is impossible to know if the rape, as Evelyn Nesbit described it, did take place,” revisiting some of the arguments made by the prosecutors during her cross-examination at trial and noting the major differences in Nesbit’s account of the contested encounter decades later in her memoir. Rather than incorporating this analysis into the main narrative, the book presents a thin recounting of the historical record that relies on dramatizations (as with an unsourced description of Thaw’s emotional state during a suicide attempt) and ends with a hollow attempt to give Nesbit’s life lasting significance (“Evelyn Nesbit’s life, in the end, was little different from the lives of millions of others”). Readers interested in understanding this case would be better served by Suzannah Lessard’s The Architect of Desire: Beauty and Danger in the Stanford White Family. 28 b&w photos.

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shortDescription

In 1901, Evelyn Nesbit, the pin-up girl and penniless young actress, dined with Stanford White, the legendary architect whose works defined the New York landscape, at his 24th St. apartment. Evelyn drank champagne and was dazzled by a tour of White's decadent rooms, which included a sumptuous velvet couch swing on which Evelyn played. Evelyn was given more champagne, and lost consciousness. She woke, nearly naked, in bed next to White. White was forty-seven years old. Evelyn Nesbit was just sixteen.

Four years later, tarnished by the air of impropriety that in those days surrounded a lowly career in the theater, Evelyn would marry Harry Thaw, a playboy millionaire rumored to be mentally unstable, and in whom she confided the story of her encounter with Stanford White. One night in 1906, a vengeful Thaw shot and killed White before hundreds of theater-goers during a performance at Madison Square Garden-a venue designed by none other than White himself.

The city-and...

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