Harbor Hill: Portrait of a House
Publisher: Blackstone Audiobooks
Date: June 2009
Duration: 5 hours 30 minutes
A "palace" ruled by a "queen," Harbor Hill in Roslyn, Long Island, was commissioned by the beautiful and imperious Katherine Duer Mackay, wife of one of the country's wealthiest men, to be an estate almost without equal in the entire country. The mansion, along with its magnificent furnishings, art, gardens, and the owners' hubris, striving, and ultimate failure are the center of this saga.
An extravagant product of the desire for social acceptance, the portrait covers old versus new wealth, religious differences over the building of a church, and art collecting, as well as the many people involved, from the architects, builders, and workers to the servants and staff who ran the house and gardens. Harbor Hill's story includes elements of farce and tragedy; in a sense it is an American portrait.
“Wilson turns this chronicle of what reporters at the time called ‘Heartbreak House’ into a page-turner…[An] entertaining, enlightening cautionary tale.”—Period Homes