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As America was stepping into the modern era, one great beauty became the artist's model of choice. Her perfect form became the emblem of the Gilded Age and appears on the greatest monuments of New York and the nation. Supermodel, actress, icon - her beauty paved the way for a life of glamour, passion, and ultimately tragedy. She dated the millionaires of the fashionable Newport colony and became the first American movie star ever to appear naked in a film, but her promising film career collapsed; her doctor fell in love with her and killed his own wife; and on her fortieth birthday her mother committed her to an insane asylum. She remained there until her death in 1996 at the age of 104 and is now buried in an unmarked grave.
Her name is Audrey Munson.
Many listeners will recognize Audrey Munson and have walked by her in the street without even knowing her name. She stands atop New York's Municipal Building. She sits as Miss Manhattan and Miss Brooklyn outside the Brooklyn Museum and is immortalized on the Manhattan Bridge, the Frick Mansion, the New York Public Library, and the Pulitzer Fountain outside the Plaza Hotel. In gold, bronze, and stone, she still graces bridges, skyscrapers, fountains, churches, monuments, and public buildings across the nation, from Jacksonville to San Francisco, from Atlanta to the Wisconsin state capitol.
From James Bone, the former New York bureau chief of The Times of London, this brilliantly reported investigative biography reveals for the first time the riveting truth of the forgotten life of an iconic beauty.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Ellie Moonan on 04-06-17
Fascinating story. Possibly a little too much detail in this book for my first encounter with Audrey. Too many names and details of their lives. I only wanted to hear about Audrey. I admit I shed a tear at the end. Sixty five years of incarceration for America's first super model. Admitted at 40 years old until her death at 104 years and 8 months old. I'll give her a nod as I pass by her form in many sculptures throughout in NYC. She should not be forgotten. What a fascinating life.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
By Jeyne on 12-12-17
As indulgent and impressive as the Gilded Age
The voice actress was perfection! This story opened up a dark and fascinating world and era. I have seen photographs of this forgotten age between 1900 and 1920, but never knew about the glamerous and sinister world that was bohemia and nascent Hollywood. To anyone interested in a beautiful tragic starlet, cursed by her own beauty, I recommend this book.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful