What the Lady Wants: A Novel of Marshall Field and the Gilded Age
Publisher: Blackstone Audiobooks
Date: November 2014
Duration: 12 hours 5 minutes
In late-nineteenth-century Chicago, visionary retail tycoon Marshall Field made his fortune wooing women customers with his famous motto, “Give the lady what she wants.” His legendary charm also won the heart of socialite Delia Spencer and led to an infamous love affair.
The night of the Great Fire, as seventeen-year-old Delia watches the flames rise and consume what was the pioneer town of Chicago, she can’t imagine how much her life, her city, and her whole world are about to change—nor can she guess that the agent of that change will not simply be the fire but more so the man she meets that night.
Leading the way in rebuilding after the fire, Marshall Field reopens his well-known dry goods store and transforms it into something the world has never seen before: a glamorous palace of a department store. He and his powerhouse coterie—including Potter Palmer and George Pullman—usher in the age of robber barons, the American royalty of their generation.
But behind the opulence, their private lives are riddled with scandal and heartbreak. Delia and Marshall first turn to each other out of loneliness, but as their love deepens, they will stand together despite disgrace and ostracism, through an age of devastation and opportunity, when an adolescent Chicago is transformed into the gleaming White City of Chicago’s World’s Fair of 1893.
“What the Lady Wants is as fun and addictive and Chicago-licious as a box of Marshall Field’s Frango Mints. And, sadly, you’ll finish it almost as fast. A delight.”—Rebecca Makkai, author of The Hundred Year House