December 15, 2009 | daviscrl
As a long time fiction reader who recently has been reading primarily nonfiction, I love the way details spark my interest and lead me on a bread crumb path to the next book. Listening to Mrs. Astor regrets about Brooke Astor's decline made me wonder what happened to her son, Tony. A quick Power Search of our databases found several current articles.
I also wondered about Vincent Astor's second wife, Minnie, who apparently set him up to marry Brooke. So I picked up The sisters, a bio of the 3 Cushing sisters — who all married very, very well. Minnie's sisters Babe and Betsey had beautiful homes which were at least partially decorated by the celebrated firm Parish-Hadley (who also designed Brook Astor's famous library). CPL doesn't own the book I wanted, Parish-Hadley, but no problem — I had it sent here from MelCat.
We did just get Sister Parish Design in which several designers talk about the Parish-Hadley influence. That led me to books by some of the contibutors: Jeffrey Bilhuber: defining luxury, Classic country by Kathryn M. Ireland, Bunny Williams' point of view, and the way too-exuberant-for-me Houses in my heart by Carleton Varney. MelCat came to the rescue again for some books on legendary designers Nancy Lancaster and Dorothy Draper. I'm not finished yet — who knows where I'll end up.