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She was a fabulously rich, fantastically famous old woman, worldly and indomitable. Within her own lifetime she had become almost a legendary figure--stormy, glittery, tragic, but never dull.
Married at seventeen to one of the most colorful and ruthless of the great robber barons, she had known both the famous and interestingly infamous of two continents; had seen the gaudy world of the great Fifth Avenue chateaus come into being, flourish and decay; and now observed with wise, weary eyes the mad, turbulent world of the twentieth century.
At eight-four, she still had more zest for life than any of her descendants, all whom--with the exception of her great-granddaughter Janie--she privately despised. Charming people--but a sorry and disappointing lot who had inherited all the arrogance but none of the salty lustiness, the unscrupulousness but not the daring, that had won the Major, her husband, the friendship of Edward VII and had made her love him to the end in spite of his ruthlessness and infidelities.
And upon the thin, erect shoulders of Mrs. Parkington, her children still piled the problems with which they themselves had neither wisdom nor courage to cope.
Louis Bromfield has written a charming love story, a long, nostalgic novel which covers one of the most exciting, multi-colored periods of American history. A meretricious age, flashy, fantastic, corrupt, it was also an age of giants, of strength and growth and great visions. He has filled a dramatic and richly crowded story with people who are unmistakably of their era, whether it is the world of the nineteenth century, the pre-war period, or the confusing revolutionary world of today.
In Mrs. Parkington, Bromfield has created his most unforgettable character.
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