The Last Castle: The Epic Story of Love, Loss, and American Royalty in the Nation’s Largest Home by Denise Kiernan

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Read The Last Castle: The Epic Story of Love, Loss, and American Royalty in the Nation’s Largest Home Online Free - “A soaring and gorgeous American story” (Karen Abbott) from the author of the New York Times bestselling The Girls of Atomic City.

The fascinating true story behind the magnificent Gilded Age mansion Biltmore—the largest, grandest residence ever built in the United States.

The story of Biltmore spans World Wars, the Jazz Age, the Depression, and generations of the famous Vanderbilt family, and features a captivating cast of real-life characters including F. Scott Fitzgerald, Thomas Wolfe, Teddy Roosevelt, John Singer Sargent, James Whistler, Henry James, and Edith Wharton.

Orphaned at a young age, Edith Stuyvesant Dresser claimed lineage from one of New York’s best known families. She grew up in Newport and Paris, and her engagement and marriage to George Vanderbilt was one of the most watched events of Gilded Age society. But none of this prepared her to be mistress of Biltmore House.

Before their marriage, the wealthy and bookish Vanderbilt had dedicated his life to creating a spectacular European-style estate on 125,000 acres of North Carolina wilderness. He summoned the famous landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted to tame the grounds, collaborated with celebrated architect Richard Morris Hunt to build a 175,000-square-foot chateau, filled it with priceless art and antiques, and erected a charming village beyond the gates. Newlywed Edith was now mistress of an estate nearly three times the size of Washington, DC and benefactress of the village and surrounding rural area. When fortunes shifted and changing times threatened her family, her home, and her community, it was up to Edith to save Biltmore—and secure the future of the region and her husband’s legacy.

The Last Castle is the unique American story of how the largest house in America flourished, faltered, and ultimately endured to this day.

Title : The Last Castle: The Epic Story of Love, Loss, and American Royalty in the Nation’s Largest Home
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 1476794049
Edition Language : English
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 400 pages


Cindy rated it ★★★★★

September 25, 2017

The Last Castle is a phenomenal read. When I went to school in North Carolina years ago, I visited Biltmore House several times so as soon I learned about this book, I was dying to read it. I am so glad it lived up to my expectations. Denise Kiernan chronicles the tale of George Vanderbilt, the m...

Touchstone rated it ★★★★★

June 29, 2017

Denise Kiernan is back and she's better than ever. Can't wait to share this one with you this Fall!

Margaret rated it ★★★★☆

June 10, 2017

Emblematic of the Vanderbilt family's cycle "from shirtsleeves to shirtsleeves in three generations" (well, maybe "shirtsleeves to Anderson Cooper in three generations"), the estate at Biltmore was meant to be a semi-feudal estate, with European-style managed forests, dairies and local crafts. In...

Kim rated it ★★★☆☆

July 15, 2017

The great Biltmore Estate which many consider an American castle was the vision of George Vanderbilt and continued by his wife, Edith. While the design and grounds changed a bit through the years one thing did not and that was their dream of the area being self sustaining. The village (or later t...

Emesskay rated it ★★★★☆

August 15, 2017

This book is the biography of a building (or estate) - the Biltmore near Asheville North Carolina. It goes into great detail about how it came to be, the problems and how they were overcome, and how this wonderful example of gilded age architecture came to remain intact for future generations to...

Linda rated it ★★★★★

August 03, 2017

I received this book via First Reads on Goodreads. This is a fascinating story of the the Biltmore House near Asheville, North Carolina. It starts with a brief history of the Vanderbilt family up to George Vanderbilt. The book continues up to the present time and the grandsons who continue to sha...

Bonnie rated it ★★★★☆

July 13, 2017

I received an ARC for an honest review. I'm always in awe of architecture; especially, historic ones. I thought that this was a fascinating and enlightening read about the Biltmore House. I'd love to see it one day.

John rated it ★★★☆☆

August 28, 2017

The 175,000 square foot Biltmore was constructed in the waning years of America's Gilded Age by the grandson of Cornelius Vanderbilt, George Vanderbilt, couched within his beloved mountains surrounding Asheville, N.C. Although the focus of this historical work is scheduled to be published at the...

Stephanie rated it ★★★★★

June 30, 2017

Visits to The Biltmore always provoke awe. The beauty and grandeur are stunning! Now we have a fascinating story of the people who had the vision to develop this lovely place- George Vanderbilt and his team of specialists, who contributed more than just a building. The impacted the community in a...

Sue rated it ★★★★★

August 27, 2017

Having visited Biltmore several years ago, I enjoyed reading more of the back story of the estate. It is a beautiful and interesting piece of literature. I would recommend it to anyone who is interested in the history of our country during that time.

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