Empty Mansions

Empty Mansions

The Mysterious Life of Huguette Clark and the Spending of A Great American Fortune

eBook - 2013
Average Rating:
Rate this:
#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLERNAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY Janet Maslin, The New York TimesSt. Louis Post-Dispatch When Pulitzer Prize--winning journalist Bill Dedman noticed in 2009 a grand home for sale, unoccupied for nearly sixty years, he stumbled through a surprising portal into American history. Empty Mansions is a rich mystery of wealth and loss, connecting the Gilded Age opulence of the nineteenth century with a twenty-first-century battle over a $300 million inheritance. At its heart is a reclusive heiress named Huguette Clark, a woman so secretive that, at the time of her death at age 104, no new photograph of her had been seen in decades. Though she owned palatial homes in California, New York, and Connecticut, why had she lived for twenty years in a simple hospital room, despite being in excellent health? Why were her valuables being sold off? Was she in control of her fortune, or...
Publisher: 2013
ISBN: 9780345545565
Branch Call Number: DOWNLOADABLE eBOOK
Characteristics: 1 online resource
data file,rda

Related Resources


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment
May 05, 2019

Offbeat wealthy people . Fun to read about . Really enjoyed the book .
The dad Mr Clark was amazing.

Oct 18, 2018

Very good narration of a quirky subject.
The magnanimous personalities of the super-wealthy seem far and few between but the characters of W.A. Clark and his daughter Hughette certainly make for an interesting listen. It boggles the mind how much money was tossed around but never ceases to amaze me how people will show up hat-in-hand to take what they can.


Apr 28, 2017

I really liked Huguette and didn't want the book to end! Seeing as her stolen Degas is at the Nelson (within walking distance!) I plan to go see it as soon as possible, and think of Huguette.

Jan 28, 2016

I feel like I missed out on something by listening to the audiobook version instead. I might come back to the book and actually read it, because I generally love stories about crazy-sad-poor-rich people and their crazy-sad-poor-rich-people problems.

Nov 19, 2015

Ebook comment: I love this book although I have to agree with one criticism that it's "property porn" (and what lovely property it is too).
Very well researched. Historical biographical non fiction. An interesting look at one of the wealthiest American families you've never heard of. The book photos, etc. are much better than ebook. And both are better than audiobook.

Nov 18, 2015

This is a great book!
I recommend the actual book if possible (rather than audio or ebook) due to photos and other primary-source materials published in the hardback.
The detailed research for the book is impressive in itself, but the storytelling keeps you interested. Historical, biographical and rich in quirky details about one of the wealthiest American families you've never heard of -- check it out.

Nov 15, 2015

Mrs. Clark became the last surviving member of the children of fabulously wealthy W. A. Clark, a copper baron from the Belle Epoch. Her reclusiveness and end-of-life generosity put her at odds with distant family generations removed from her. So interesting.
Reading about her artistic talent, her passions and seeming kindness was fascinating. You'll have to search online to know how the lawsuits following her death end—if that matters.

Oct 10, 2015

sad story. I can't believe that her nurse got so much of her money.. and that doctors were trying to extort millions from her. what a disgrace!

Mar 17, 2015

Fascinating tale of the reclusive heiress to an enormous fortune, told in such a way as to be easily followed, even though the story itself is quite complicated. As an aside, while you're reading, take the time to google some of the artists Huguette Clark collected and supported. It's amazing.

Jan 14, 2015

This is a long book and I thought it might become boring but it never did. Found it very interesting.

View All Comments

Age Suitability

Add Age Suitability
steven7 Dec 18, 2014

steven7 thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number

Subject Headings


Find it at NWPL

To Top