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The Baroness: The Search for Nica, the…

The Baroness: The Search for Nica, the Rebellious Rothschild

by Hannah Rothschild

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An interesting biography. I'd like to know more about the Rothschilds today. ( )
  cygnet81 | Jan 17, 2016 |
For the first 100 pages, I would have ranked this book as three stars, and only then because it was historically interesting. After that, though, Hannah picks up the jazz and the real musical culture that drew Nica in, and I was hooked.

I received this book as a Goodreads First Reads giveaway, and I think I expected it to be more of a work of fiction. I'm not sure I knew what it was when I started.

It is a biography, and it reads as a biography. At times it's a bit tedious, but even though Nica's heart and soul may never be fully known, Hannah shows us a world that is both beautiful and heartbreaking. It's beautifully written, and I've learned so much from this book.

It takes a minute to really get into it, but I would definitely recommend this book. ( )
  sarahlizfits | Jul 3, 2013 |
An interesting book about a woman who lived her life to the fullest, not following any conventions ( )
  drjesons | Apr 27, 2013 |
I liked the subtitle which sums up this biography - a Rothschild by birth, a baroness by marriage, a rebel by choice. Fascinating insight into the rise of the Rothschild family, unhappy childhoods, and the jazz scene in America that Nica chose to be a part of. ( )
  siri51 | Jan 13, 2013 |
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Book description
A Rothschild by birth and a Baroness by marriage, beautiful, spirited Pannonica - known as Nica - seemed to have it all: children, a handsome husband and a trust fund. But in the early 1950s she heard a piece by the jazz legend Thelonious Monk. The music overtook her like a magic spell, and she abandoned her marriage to go and find him. Arriving in New York, Nica was shunned by society but accepted by the musicians. They gave her friendship; she gave them material and emotional support. Her convertible Bentley was a familiar sight outside the clubs and she drank whisky from a hip flask disguised as a Bible. Her notoriety was sealed when drug-addicted saxophonist Charlie Parker died in her apartment. But her real love was reserved for Monk, whom she cared for until his death in 1982. The Baroness traces Nica's extraordinary, thrilling journey - from England's stately homes to the battlefields of Africa, passing under the shadow of the Holocaust, and finally to the creative ferment of the New York jazz scene. Hannah Rothschild's search to solve the mystery of her rebellious great aunt draws on their long friendship and years of meticulous research and interviews. It is part musical odyssey, part dazzling love story.
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A biography of the author's great-aunt, jazz patroness Nica de Koenigswarter, drawing on family records to examine the traditions that shaped her youth, her marriage to Baron Jules de Koenigswarter, and her role in supporting the New York jazz world.

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