Friday, August 16, 2019, 3:30 PM.
Every month, residents of Central Baptist Village meet in the Craft Room to discuss a book chosen by our Outreach Librarian. This month we’re reading The Last Castle by Denise Kiernan.
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 and collaborated with celebrated architect Richard Morris Hunt to build a 175,000-square-foot chateau. Newlywed Edith was now mistress of an estate nearly three times the size of Washington, DC. 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.