It's All About the Journey

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The House at Riverton

The House at Riverton (author Kate Morgan)

I chose it, from the hospital cart in the lobby, for it’s title.  I was captivated by the book all the way through.  Kate Morgan plays her hand well.  While I was able to figure out one mystery, the climax of the story came almost at the end.  Very well written.

The story line regards a lady’s maid, a poor child, whose mother once was a maid at Riverton.  It unfolds almost immediately with our heroine’s fascination with the children who visit the manor.

The aspect I truly enjoyed is how the author can capture the heart of the old person.  The lesson for me is that I need to pay attention, everyone is special.

“I like Sylvia.  She’s one of the few people able to look beyond the lines on my face to see the 20 year old.”

“…time erases real lives, leaving only vague imprints.  Blood and spirit fade away so that only names and dates remain. “

This is a true to life (fiction) novel about the ending of Victorian ways and Edwardian times.  Anyone interested in reading about how life once was will enjoy this New York Times Bestseller.  Well done, Kate Morgan!

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4 Comments

Among Other News…

My local newspaper has had a series this year entitled, “The year was 1914...” and then there are stories.

One of the stories that caught my eye was about the “$10,000,000 widow” of Mr. William Hayes Chapman, of Norwich, New York.  Ah, the stories of the rich.  After Mr. Hayes death, she married a Philip Van Valkenburgh of New York, but divorced rather quickly (.http://cdnc.ucr.edu/cgi-bin/cdnc?a=d&d=SFC19100701.2.2).  The favored new suitor was Prince Wolff Metternich of Austria.  His “dangerous” rival was the Portuguese Duke of Oporto, who had been close on the heels for the beautiful American divorcee for some time, but the prince feels that he is the favored suitor.

Upon my further investigation (via Google), Mr. Hayes had met his bride on the ship coming home from Europe.  According to the Gettysburg Times, there were several men seeking her hand in marriage.  Mr. Hayes died shortly after the wedding, relatives are trying to break the will.

Further New York Times investigation (headlines and first few lines only, can’t find my password on the subscription): in October 1909 she was “connected” with Lord Falconer, and in September of 1910 she was leading a very quiet life, turning down most social invitation.

Apparently the Portuguese duke won her hand in 1917. http://royalmusingsblogspotcom.blogspot.com/2011/08/duke-of-oporto-to-wed-american.html  (Photos included in this one.)  

I’m still searching for her real name.  But it is interesting what one can find, and then pursue.  For me, headlines and investigations.  For Mrs. William Hayes Chapman, well, a little bit more.  

UPDATE: DUKE OF OPORTO: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Afonso,_Duke_of_Porto#Marriage
WEALTHY WIDOW: NEVADA STOODY HAYES: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nevada_Stoody_Hayes