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


Erin rated it ★★★☆☆

October 30, 2017

3.5 Stars The Last Castle is a book for serious history nerds like myself. I haven't read Denise Kiernan's other book The Girls of Atomic City, but after reading The Last Castle I'll be pushing it up my TBR list. This book is a meticulously researched look at the building of the largest house of Th...

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!

BAM rated it ★★★☆☆

December 28, 2017

"Half the pleasure in life comes from learning to choose between things."-William Osgood Field

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...

Martha Mason rated it ★★★☆☆

October 28, 2017

Disappointing If one judges a book solely on the basis of the epic amount of research that went into its writing this book might be judged a success. The amount of detail presented is prodigious. But taken as a whole the book, to me at least, is flat, repetitive and boring. George Vanderbilt is an...

David rated it ★★★☆☆

December 20, 2017

I am giving this book a 3 star rating. To me that means it was a good book, nothing special but worth the price paid. I read some of the reviews of other GR members and it appears that some were rather disappointed in this book for a variety of reasons. I guess I can understand that feeling as I...

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...

Staceyann rated it ★★☆☆☆

October 28, 2017

The author did not appear to have enough material about the Vanderbilt family to write a book, so latched on to everything that happened in North Carolina around this time period. I wouldn’t complain if this had been billed as a history of North Carolina, but a lot of the side stories had no conn...

Suzanne rated it ★★☆☆☆

October 27, 2017

What a disappointment!! There is nothing epic about this book and that is the letdown. There is just enough detail to think the book will pick up but it never happens. With the right author this could truly be an epic story but this was a book that was ard to pick up and finish.

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