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Five Sisters: The Langhornes of Virginia (2000)
by James Fox
Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 074320042X, Paperback)With the same narrative panache and gift for good gossip that made White Mischief such fun, James Fox turns his attention here to the Langhorne sisters, Southern beauties who wielded a powerful influence in politics and culture during the tumultuous years from the turn of the 20th century through the Second World War. Lizzie (1867-1914) married a Virginian and stayed home, but her siblings conquered Yankee America and England. Irene (1873-1956) married Charles Dana Gibson and served as the model for that all-American icon, the Gibson girl. Baby sister Nora (1889-1955), dreamy and artistic, had a turbulent life scattered with lovers including, perhaps, F. Scott Fitzgerald. Nancy (1879-1964) entered English society through second husband Waldorf Astor and focused her formidable energies on politics as the first female member of Parliament and hostess to the notorious "Cliveden set." Sensitive, introspective Phyllis (1880-1937), the author's grandmother, survived a bad first marriage and an affair with a British officer to happily wed the brilliant English economist Bob Brand. Fox makes excellent use of thousands of the sisters' letters to reveal five dynamic personalities in their own words. His shrewd commentary provides context for a riveting tale of family ties, social commitments, and the complex interplay between them that shaped the Langhorne women's lives. --Wendy Smith
(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 21 Apr 2011 19:48:24 -0400)
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