Lifestyle and Culture: Biography and Literature

What A Time It Was!

Leonard Lyons and the Golden Age of New York Nightlife

By

A star-studded follow-up to "Stories My Father Told Me," with hundreds of new anecdotes about celebrities from Greta Garbo to Gore Vidal

This remarkable collection of stories, hand-picked from the archive of legendary New York Post columnist Leonard Lyons by his son, film critic Jeffrey Lyons, will transport readers back to the sparkling peak of New York City nightlife. This was the time when notables of every sort—movie stars, studio moguls, directors, writers, politicians, comedians, athletes, gangsters, diplomats, Broadway legends, and artists—gathered nightly at such famed restaurants and nightclubs as Sardi's, the Stork Club, and the Copacabana. From 1934 to 1974, Leonard Lyons was a nightly fixture at these clubs, befriending celebrities of all stripes and gathering exclusive anecdotes for his syndicated newspaper column, The Lyons Den.

What a Time It Was! offers candid portraits of stars and statesmen at work and at play—especially at play—but still, effortlessly, larger than life. Illustrated with snapshots and glamour shots, it offers a unique window onto the lives of iconic figures from Ethel Barrymore and Muhammad Ali to Tennessee Williams and Jackie Kennedy, as well as their favorite haunts. Here are four decades of popular culture seen from the front row, by a man who said, “Give me lights and sound and people, and music into the night. Late into the night!”

If you thought you knew everything about Woody Allen, Joan Rivers, the Roosevelts, and some of New York’s most famous nightclubs, hotels, and gin joints, guess again. No one knew these people and places better than Leonard Lyons.

Read more

In Her Own Hand

By

For the first time, all three volumes of Jane Austen’s brilliant early manuscripts are available in beautiful facsimile editions.

Fan fiction from the eighteenth century—Jane Austen's stories are as fresh and fun today as they were when she wrote them.

Forever immortalized as the author of Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen actually produced her first “books” as a teenager. Taking their names from the inscriptions on their covers—Volume the First, Volume the Second, and Volume the Third—these brilliant little collections include the stories, playlets, verses, and moral fragments she wrote likely from the ages of twelve to eighteen.

As a young author, Jane Austen delighted in language, employing it with great humor and surprising skill. She was adept at parodying the popular stories of her day and entertained her readers with outrageous plotlines and characters. Kathryn Sutherland places Austen’s earliest works in context and explains how she mimicked even the style and manner in which this contemporary popular fiction was presented and arranged on the page.

None of her six famous novels survives in complete manuscript form. This is a unique opportunity to own likenesses of Jane Austen’s notebooks as originally written—in her own hand.

Read more

Volume the First

In Her Own Hand

By

For the first time, all three volumes of Jane Austen’s brilliant early manuscripts are available in beautiful facsimile editions.

Forever immortalized as the author of Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen actually produced her first “book” as a teenager, Volume the First. Taking its name from the inscription on the cover, this brilliant little collection includes the stories, playlets, verses, and moral fragments she wrote likely from ages twelve to eighteen. The volume was produced for the enjoyment of her family and close friends—entertaining it was and is!

Now it is available for all of us to see.

As a young author, Jane Austen delighted in language, employing it with great humor and surprising skill. She was adept at parodying the popular stories of her day and entertained her readers with outrageous plotlines and characters. Kathryn Sutherland’s introduction places Austen’s earliest works in context and explains how she mimicked even the style and manner in which this contemporary popular fiction was presented and arranged on the page. The work of a young adult, Volume the First nevertheless reveals the development of the unmistakable voice and style that would mark her as one of the most popular authors of all time. None of her six famous novels survives in manuscript. This is a unique opportunity to own a likeness of Jane Austen’s hand in the form of a complete manuscript facsimile.

Volume the First, housed at the Bodleian Library of the University of Oxford, includes the following stories: “Frederic & Elfrida,” “Jack & Alice,” “Edgar & Emma,” “Henry & Eliza,” “Mr Harley,” “Sir William Mountague,” “Mr Clifford,” “The beautifull Cassandra,” “Amelia Webster,” “The Visit,” “The Mystery,” “The three Sisters,” “Detached peices,” and “Ode to Pity.”

Read more

Volume the Second

In Her Own Hand

By

For the first time, all three volumes of Jane Austen’s brilliant early manuscripts are available in beautiful facsimile editions.

Fan fiction from the eighteenth century—Jane Austen's stories are as fresh and fun today as they were when she wrote them.

Forever immortalized as the author of Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen actually produced her first “books” as a teenager. Taking their names from the inscriptions on their covers—Volume the First, Volume the Second, and Volume the Third—these brilliant little collections include the stories, playlets, verses, and moral fragments she wrote likely from the ages of twelve to eighteen.

As a young author, Jane Austen delighted in language, employing it with great humor and surprising skill. She was adept at parodying the popular stories of her day and entertained her readers with outrageous plotlines and characters. Kathryn Sutherland places Austen’s earliest works in context and explains how she mimicked even the style and manner in which this contemporary popular fiction was presented and arranged on the page.

None of her six famous novels survives in complete manuscript form. This is a unique opportunity to own likenesses of Jane Austen’s notebooks as originally written—in her own hand.

Volume the Second, housed at the British Library, contains Austen’s famous “The History of England,” illustrated with watercolor portraits by her sister Cassandra, as well as “Love and Freindship,” “Lesley Castle,” and several letters and fragments she calls "scraps".

This notebook was compiled between June 1790 and June 1793, from ages fourteen to seventeen.

Read more

Volume the Third

In Her Own Hand

By

For the first time, all three volumes of Jane Austen’s brilliant early manuscripts are available in beautiful facsimile editions.

Fan fiction from the eighteenth century—Jane Austen's stories are as fresh and fun today as they were when she wrote them.

Forever immortalized as the author of Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen actually produced her first “books” as a teenager. Taking their names from the inscriptions on their covers—Volume the First, Volume the Second, and Volume the Third—these brilliant little collections include the stories, playlets, verses, and moral fragments she wrote likely from the ages of twelve to eighteen.

As a young author, Jane Austen delighted in language, employing it with great humor and surprising skill. She was adept at parodying the popular stories of her day and entertained her readers with outrageous plotlines and characters. Kathryn Sutherland places Austen’s earliest works in context and explains how she mimicked even the style and manner in which this contemporary popular fiction was presented and arranged on the page.

None of her six famous novels survives in complete manuscript form. This is a unique opportunity to own likenesses of Jane Austen’s notebooks as originally written—in her own hand.

Volume the Third, written when Austen was sixteen, includes two stories: “Evelyn” and “Kitty, or the Bower” (or “Catharine”). The manuscript is also held at the British Library. This volume includes text written by her niece, Anna Lefroy, who contributes an addition to "Evelyn."

Read more

At Home with Jane Austen

By

Tour the homes and settings of Jane Austen, one of the most widely read and beloved authors in English literature.

From her youth in a country rectory in Steventon, a small village in Hampshire, England—where she wrote her first stories for her friends, Volume the First, Volume the Second, and Volume the Third—to the fashionable spa town of Bath, to the seaport of Southampton, to her final years in her last settled home at peaceful Chawton Cottage, where she penned her most famous novel, Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen’s life was hardly that of a shut in. A regular visitor to London, to the seashore for holidays, and to the estates of friends and relatives, Jane carried her own notion of home with her wherever she went and drew inspiration for her brilliantly witty novels from every new experience. She wrote most everywhere she traveled, accompanied by her portable writing desk.

With gorgeous photography and illustrations, At Home with Jane Austen explores Austen’s world, her physical surroundings, and the journeys the popular author took during her lifetime. Author Kim Wilson ties Austen’s novels to places where she lived, visited, and even attended school, ending with her final months in temporary lodgings in Winchester, England. Jane Austen’s enduring legacy is the final chapter of this beautiful and eye-opening book.

 

Read more

The Libertine

The Art of Love in Eighteenth-Century France

By

A lavishly presented tasting menu of excerpts from eighteenth-century libertine literature, expertly paired with delectable period artworks.

“That which both sexes then called ‘love’ was a kind of commerce that they entered into, often without inclination, where convenience was always preferred to sympathy, interest to pleasure, and vice to feeling.” Thus did one novelist describe the spirit that pervaded the twilight years of the Ancien Régime, the heyday of the libertine. Today this word typically evokes the excesses of a Sade or the cruel manipulations of Dangerous Liaisons, but the game of love, as the jaded French aristocracy played it, was most often characterized by a refinement of speech and manner, a taste for nuance over forthright assertion that finds its counterpart in the paintings of Fragonard and the operas of Mozart. The amours of the libertine also colored the intellectual life of the time, figuring into the great debates about natural instinct versus social institutions, and the proper limits of personal freedom.

This sumptuous volume re-creates the milieu of the libertine in all its lively decadence, bringing together more than eighty brief selections from eighteenth-century French literature, grouped into eight broad themes—including tales of seduction, fantasies of exotic lands, and the discoveries of youth—and introduced by an eminent French scholar. These pieces, which encompass fiction, drama, verse, essays, and letters, are the work of nearly sixty writers, some familiar to Anglophone readers—such as Voltaire, Rousseau, Diderot, and yes, the Marquis de Sade—and some much less so; indeed, many of the selections are hitherto untranslated. Each excerpt is accompanied by splendid reproductions of period artworks, many rarely seen, by Watteau, Boucher, Fragonard, and numerous others, that echo and heighten the mood of the texts.

Racy, thought-provoking, and a treat for the eyes, The Libertine is the perfect gift for litterateurs, art lovers, roués, and coquettes.

Read more

Tara Revisited

Women, War, and the Plantation Legend

By

Cutting through romantic myth, this captivating volume combines period photographs and illustrations with new documentary sources to tell the real story of Southern women during the Civil War.

Drawing from a wealth of poignant letters, diaries, slave narratives, and other accounts, Catherine Clinton provides a vivid social and cultural history of the diverse communities of Southern women during the Civil War: the heroic African-American women who struggled for freedom, the tireless nurses who faced gruesome duties, the intriguing handful who donned uniforms, and those brave women who spied and even died for the Confederacy. Photographs, drawings, prints, and other period illustrations bring this buried chapter of Civil War history to life, taking the reader from the cotton fields to the hearthsides, from shrapnel-riddled mansions to slave cabins.

Clinton places these women within the context of war, illuminating both legendary and anonymous women along the way.Tracing oral traditions and Southern literature from Reconstruction through our era, the author demonstrates how a deadly mix of sentiment and fabrication perpetuates tales of idyllic plantations inhabited by benevolent masters and contented slaves.

The book concludes with Clinton's perceptive and often witty discussion of how, over the years, we continue to embrace mythic figures like Scarlett and Mammy in aspects of popular culture ranging from Hollywood epics to pancake syrup.

Read more

Stories My Father Told Me

Notes from "The Lyons Den"

By

An incredible collection of celebrity stories and photographs from 1934 to the present, from the archives of "The Lyons Den" by eminent New York Post columnist Leonard Lyons, compiled by his son, movie critic Jeffrey Lyons.

This amazing collection of choice anecdotes takes us right back to the Golden Age of New York City nightlife, when top restaurants like Toots Shor’s, “21,” and Sardi’s, as well as glittering nightclubs like the Stork Club, The Latin Quarter, and El Morocco, were the nightly gathering spots for great figures of that era: movie and Broadway stars, baseball players, champion boxers, comedians, diplomats, British royalty, prize-winning authors, and famous painters. From Charlie Chaplin to Winston Churchill, from Ethel Barrymore to Sophia Loren, from George Burns to Ernest Hemingway, from Joe DiMaggio to the Duke of Windsor: Leonard Lyons knew them all. For forty glorious years, from 1934 to 1974, he made the daily rounds of Gotham nightspots, collecting the exclusive scoops and revelations that were at the core of his famous newspaper column, “The Lyons Den.”

In this entertaining volume Jeffrey Lyons has assembled a considerable compilation of anecdotes from his father’s best columns, and has also contributed a selection of his own in-depth interviews conducted on his own TV shows with George Clooney, Penelope Cruz, Javier Bardem, Dame Judi Dench, George Carlin, Dennis Hopper, Sir Michael Caine, Sir Ben Kingsley and other current stars. Organized chronologically by decade and subdivided by celebrity, Stories My Father Told Me offers fascinating and amusing stories illustrated by some sixty archival photographs. He so captured the tenor of those exciting times that the great Lincoln biographer Carl Sandburg said: “Imagine how much richer American history would have been had there been a Leonard Lyons in Lincoln’s time.”

Read more

Giuseppe Panza

Memories of a Collector

By

One of the world’s foremost collectors of modern art shares the story of his remarkable life, times, and culture.

A dedicated collector and advocate of contemporary art since the late 1940s, Giuseppe Panza has played a fundamental role in the artistic culture of his time, introducing American phenomena such as Abstract Expressionism, Minimalism, Pop Art, Environmental Art, and Conceptualism to the museums of Europe. Now, in a brilliant response to everyone’s primary question about Modern Art—“What does it mean?”—Panza shares philosophical insights and personal reflections that bridge a half-century of discovering new artists and movements.

Panza was among the first to buy the works of Rothko, Kline, Lichtenstein, and many of the other major figures of post-WWII art, watching as their works skyrocketed in monetary value as well as historic importance. He pursued collecting with undiminished enthusiasm through the 1980s and 1990s, all the while searching for the best venues in which to display his latest acquisitions. Sections of his private collection were exhibited by and acquired into major collections, particularly the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles and the Guggenheim in New York. Among his signature innovations was the juxtaposition of contemporary art with historic settings—Baroque palaces, ancient European public buildings, his own eighteenth-century villa—in order to create unexpected and stimulating dialogs between the architectural context and the work of art.

Complete with 110 full-color illustrations, spanning decades of transformation in art and world culture, Giuseppe Panza: Memories of a Collector provides a unique glimpse into the movements and trends that have defined modern art. It is also the fascinating life story of a man who helped define the trends themselves, through passion, insight, and prophetic taste.

Read more

Israel through My Lens

Sixty Years as a Photojournalist

By

The compelling autobiography of Israel's preeminent photojournalist, illustrated with his most memorable images. 

Today, photojournalist David Rubinger stands at the peak of his profession: a winner of the Israel Prize for services to the media and a fixture on the masthead of Time, he is the only photographer whose work is on permanent display at the Knesset, Israel’s legislature. In this fascinating volume, he reports his own story, which in many ways reflects the history of Israel that he has recorded so faithfully with his camera. Born in Vienna in 1924, he emigrated to British Palestine in 1939 and developed a passion for photography while serving in the British army’s Jewish Brigade. After fighting in Israel’s War of Independence, he became a professional news photographer, reporting on each of his young nation’s subsequent wars from the front lines, at first for the Israeli media and later as a correspondent for Time-Life. He photographed all of Israel’s leaders, many of whom have allowed him a remarkable degree of access to their lives; Ariel Sharon said, “I trust Rubinger even though I know he doesn’t vote for me.” But Rubinger has not confined his reporting to war and politics; by photographing the successive waves of Jewish immigrants from Europe, the Arab world, Russia, and Ethiopia, he has also created a valuable record of Israel’s transformation from a country of six hundred thousand to one of seven million.

In recounting his eventful career, Rubinger proves himself a gifted raconteur, sharing anecdotes of the many leading personalities he has photographed and telling the stories behind his most famous pictures, many of which are reproduced here at fullpage size. Also illustrated are a selection of Rubinger’s never-before-published personal photographs, which provide vivid behind-the-scenes glimpses into the fast-paced and sometimes daring work of a photojournalist. Both a personal account of one man’s life with the camera and a visual document of the birth of a nation, Israel through My Lens is an essential book for anyone with an interest in Israeli history or the art of photojournalism.

Read more

A Key to the Louvre

Memoirs of a Curator

By

An art world insider provides a witty and penetrating account of fifty years at the center of international culture.

Art historian, curator, and museum director Michel Laclotte has been at the forefront of French cultural life over the past half century. This informal autobiography sheds light on his brilliant career with warmth and directness. Highlights include twenty years as chief curator of painting and sculpture at the Musée du Louvre, heading the team that created the Musée d'Orsay, and taking the reins of the Louvre to lead the effort that culminated in the museum's transformation into the “Grand Louvre,” one of the world's preeminent cultural attractions.

Raising the curtain on fifty years of Western art scholarship, intrigue, and achievement, Laclotte introduces an extraordinary cast of characters who set France's cultural direction in the postwar period from Charles de Gaulle and André Malraux in the 1950s to François Mitterand in the 1980s and 1990s. His story overlaps with virtually every major scholarly figure in French art history of the last half-century, as well as Laclotte's mentors and colleagues throughout and beyond Europe, from Roberto Longhi and Anthony Blunt to Sir John Pope-Hennessy and Millard Meiss.

An incomparable testament to a period of seismic change in the museum world, this volume will be essential reading for art world afficianados and all students of art and modern culture.

Read more

Kagan's Superfecta

And Other Stories

By

The art of Jewish storytelling thrives in this captivating collection of tales filled with memorable characters.

The stories in this collection are deeply felt explorations in to the Jewish mind and world — stories in the tradition of Isaac Bashevis Singer. At the same time, illuminated by compassion and humor, they transcend cultural boundaries and provide fascinating studies in the universal human experience. Kagan the compulsive gambler, Bluma the old beggarwoman, Hymie the well-to-do arsonist, and Maxie the juggling uncle are but a few of the unforgettable characters brought to vivid life in these pages.

Read more

Remedios Varo

Unexpected Journeys

By

The adventures that fill the strange and wonderful paintings by Remedios Varo (1908-1963) reflect the physical and psychological journeys of her own tumultuous life.

Raised in a strict Spanish family and rigorously trained in academic art, Varo first found escape in Barcelona's bohemian avant-garde. After fleeing the Spanish Civil War with the poet Benjamin Péret, later her husband, she entered the inner circle of the Surrealists in Paris. Forced to flee again by the Nazis, she and Péret faced a year of mounting danger in Marseilles before securing passage to Mexico. Finding welcome refuge in Mexico City, where she remained until her death, Varo produced the extraordinary paintings for which she gained renown.

Janet A. Kaplan's vivid chronicle, the first on the subject in English, weaves Varo's life with the artist's exquisite work. Painted with a jewellike palette and old-master precision, Varo's intimate tableaux, rich with details of women's experience, tell fantasy tales of alchemy, science, mysticism, and magic. Fifty color reproductions capture the wit and beauty of her major paintings; numerous black and white illustrations document other works and portray the compelling artist with her circle of lifelong friends and admirers. The book is further enlivened by her own voice, conveyed in hilarious letters and surreal stories, published here for the first time. It concludes with an invaluable chronology as well as a newly updated bibliography and list of exhibitions.

A woman of intense magnetism and powerful imagination, Varo had been little known outside Mexico, but she has recently found enthusiastic audiences in Europe, the Americas, Australia, and Japan. The fascinating story of her life and the dazzling intricacy of her art will prove a revelation.

Read more

Henry Clay Frick

An Intimate Portrait

By

For the first time a great-granddaughter of Henry Clay Frick, world famous art collector and steel tycoon, has assembled an intimate, pictorial biography that reveals the triumphs and tragedies of Frick's life.

With unprecedented access to personal letters, private family diaries, and the Frick archives at the Frick Collection in New York City and at family residences in Pittsburgh, Martha Frick Symington Sanger has written a unique and penetrating account of the life and times of Henry Clay Frick and his family. In addition, the author explains in this meticulously researched book the reason why Frick and his daughter Helen selected the paintings, sculpture, and other items that are included in the collection.

Since 1935 the magnificent art treasures of the Frick Collections have been open to the public in the New York City mansion that the family occupied. This book will enrich any visitor's experience of the Frick Collection in a way that had not been possible in previous books. The intriguing topics covered here include Frick's complex relationship with Andrew Carnegie and with other well-known business magnates; his harsh personal life darkened by the deaths of a younger daughter and infant son; and a sensitive portrayal of his daughter Helen, who was a Frick Collection trustee and chairman of the Art Acquisitions Committee after her father's death.

Illustrating this book are 370 pictures ranging from paintings and sculpture in the Frick Collection to family portraits and historical images. This biography of a key figure in the development of American industry will appeal to both art history lovers and to historians, offering a singular and compelling reading and visual experience.

Read more

Passion by Design

The Art and Times of Tamara De Lempicka

By

A daughter's intriguing look at the life and times of Tamara de Lempicka, a remarkable artist, personality, and icon of the Jazz Age and Art Deco style.

Tamara de Lempicka captured the whirlwind decade of the 1920s on canvas, painting (and charming) the rich and famous of Europe in Art Deco portraits. The threat of a second world war sent Tamara packing to America, where she reveled among the famous in Hollywood and the wealthy of New York, In the 1970s she was rediscovered when a gallery owner in Paris mounted a retrospective of her work, and today paintings that were unsellable for three decades fetch many hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Much of the story of de Lempicka's amazing life is told in moving detail by her daughter, whose recollections are amplified by anecdotes from others who knew the artist. The is illustrated by dozens of photographs from Tamara's personal album and by 50 full-color reproductions of her evocative paintings.

Read more

Two for the Devil

By

This searing third novel in the critically acclaimed Small Worlds series records the cruel fate of the villagers of Krimsk as they encounter the twentieth century's greatest agents of evil: Joseph Stalin and Adolph Hitler.

It is Rosh Hashanah — the Jewish New Year and Day of Judgment — in Moscow during the Stalinist purges of 1936. In the Lubyanka secret police prison, senior investigator Grisha Shwartzman masterfully pursues the rigorous logic and obsessive legalism of the Soviet witch-hunt. Facing an extraordinary prisoner, Grisha realizes that the Soviet system he has faithfully served is murderously corrupt and that he himself will be the next victim — but not an innocent one. In despair, he flees to his home, where his deranged wife and an unexpected Rosh Hashanah letter from his father-in-law, the enigmatic Krimsker Rebbe in America, await him. The Day of Judgment proves to be a startling experience as Grisha, the once idealistic radical, judges himself, accepts his responsibilities, and is guided to sublime passion and possible redemption by his mad wife, who for twenty years has been patiently awaiting him in a closed wardrobe.

In 1942 a train of imprisoned Jews leaves the Warsaw ghetto for "resettlement in the East." It is Yom Kippur — the Day of Atonement and the holiest day of the Jewish year. In a crowded cattle car stands a lonely, defeated individual who is ashamed that he cannot even remember his own name. During the tortuous journey Yechiel Katzman will overhear a talmudic debate and meet a dull-witted giant who turns out to be none other than Itzik Dribble, also from Krimsk. As they arrive in the death camp of Treblinka, Yechiel remembers not only his name but also the Krimsker Rebbe's prophetic curse that exiled him from Krimsk forty years earlier. Yet as death approaches, that curse will prove a blessing.

Stalin and Hitler decree certain death, but Grisha and Yechiel discover Jewish fates. The devil incites loneliness, degradation, despair, and even complicity; through memory, the victims elicit community, dignity, and the awareness of sanctity. Grisha's "Soviet" Rosh Hashanah and Yechiel's "Nazi" Yom Kippur are truly "Days of Awe." Even when death is certain, life can be lived.

Read more

A Short History

Thumbnail Sketches of 50 Little Giants

By

Celebrating short people and offering proof that height has no bearing on success, this volume features lighthearted biographical profiles and caricatures of 50 towering personas.

A Short History cheers on short people and gives proof that height has no bearing on success. Featuring fifty lighthearted biographical profiles and caricatures showing their towering personas, this is the perfect gift for anyone who is short of stature.

Importance is often equated with height in our society. Author Joan Slomanson aims to do away with such misguided thinking and pays homage to those who have achieved greatness in spite of, or perhaps because of, their shortness.

Fifty celebrities and personalities from all walks of life-business and industry, philanthropy, politics, sports, and the arts-are featured in this entertaining celebration of the short among us. Clever biographical profiles highlight the achievements and careers, as well as the heights, of such notables as Ludwig van Beethoven, Queen Victoria, Tyrone (Muggsy) Bogues, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Mother Teresa, Truman Capote, Auguste Rodin, Danny DeVito, and Dr. Ruth Westheimer. Playful and attractive black-and-white caricatures further illustrate these people and their mighty endeavors.

If you are short of stature or if you know someone who is, you can't afford to pass up this homage to the accomplishments of the "vertically challenged"!

Read more