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Thursday, September 28 at 7pm - Donna Lucey presents "Sargent's Women: Four Lives Behind the Canvas"

Please join us on Thursday, September 28, when Donna Lucey presents her multi-layered biography, Sargent's Women.

Donna M. Lucey, author of the best-selling Archie and Amélie: Love and Madness in the Gilded Age and other books, recipient of two NEH grants, and a 2017 writer-in-residence at Edith Wharton's the Mount, is media editor at the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities.

 

 

author photo  (c) Henry Wiencek

Event date: 
Thursday, September 28, 2017 - 7:00pm to 8:00pm
Event address: 
The Concord Bookshop
65 Main Street
Concord, MA 01742
Sargent's Women: Four Lives Behind the Canvas Cover Image
$29.95
ISBN: 9780393079036
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - August 22nd, 2017

In this seductive, multilayered biography, based on original letters and diaries, Donna M. Lucey illuminates four extraordinary women painted by the iconic high-society portraitist John Singer Sargent. With uncanny intuition, Sargent hinted at the mysteries and passions that unfolded in his subjects’ lives.

Elsie Palmer traveled between her father’s Rocky Mountain castle and the medieval English manor house where her mother took refuge, surrounded by artists, writers, and actors. Elsie hid labyrinthine passions, including her love for a man who would betray her. As the veiled Sally Fairchild—beautiful and commanding—emerged on Sargent’s canvas, the power of his artistry lured her sister, Lucia, into a Bohemian life. The saintly Elizabeth Chanler embarked on a surreptitious love affair with her best friend’s husband. And the iron-willed Isabella Stewart Gardner scandalized Boston society and became Sargent’s greatest patron and friend.

Like characters in an Edith Wharton novel, these women challenged society’s restrictions, risking public shame and ostracism. All had forbidden love affairs; Lucia bravely supported her family despite illness, while Elsie explored Spiritualism, defying her overbearing father. Finally, the headstrong Isabella outmaneuvered the richest plutocrats on the planet to create her own magnificent art museum.

These compelling stories of female courage connect our past with our present—and remind us that while women live differently now, they still face obstacles to attaining full equality.