Bunny Mellon : The Life of an American Style Legend
by Gordon, Meryl; Mellon, Bunny (ILT)







All Illustrations
Bunny Mellon
Chapter One President Kennedy Has a Request
1(8)
Chapter Two Fifty Summers Later
9(5)
Chapter Three The Auction of the Decade
14(13)
Chapter Four Childhood Treasures: A Bottle and a Book
27(16)
Chapter Five The Making of a Young Gardener
43(11)
Chapter Six Tally-Ho in Virginia
54(13)
Chapter Seven The Debutante Dances Through the Depression
67(10)
Chapter Eight A Courteous Girl and a Thorough Gentleman
77(11)
Chapter Nine Paul Mellon's Rebellion
88(19)
Chapter Ten The War Years
107(20)
Chapter Eleven Millions of Reasons to Remarry
127(24)
Chapter Twelve The Best-Dressed List
151(20)
Chapter Thirteen A Constant Gardener
171(20)
Chapter Fourteen The Best Friends
191(14)
Chapter Fifteen A Rose by Any Other Name
205(16)
Chapter Sixteen November 22, 1963
221(8)
Chapter Seventeen Carrying On
229(24)
Chapter Eighteen 1968
253(14)
Chapter Nineteen Paul and Bunny in Love with Others
267(18)
Chapter Twenty The Spending of a Robber Baron Fortune
285(24)
Chapter Twenty-One The Book Stops Here
309(22)
Chapter Twenty-Two Entertaining the Royals (Again)
331(24)
Chapter Twenty-Three Exits and Entrances
355(22)
Chapter Twenty-Four Enduring the Unendurable
377(22)
Chapter Twenty-Five A Perilous Political Affair
399(21)
Chapter Twenty-Six The FBI Makes House Calls
420(18)
Chapter Twenty-Seven Everything Should Be Noticed
438(15)
Acknowledgments453(8)
Sources461(34)
Bibliography495(4)
Index499


"A new biography of Bunny Mellon, the style icon and American aristocrat who designed the White House Rose Garden for her friend JFK and served as a living witness to 20th Century American history, operating in the high-level arenas of politics, diplomacy, art and fashion. Bunny Mellon, who died in 2014 at age 103, was press-shy during her lifetime. With the co-operation of Bunny Mellon's family, author Meryl Gordon received access to thousands of pages of her letters, diaries and appointment calendars and has interviewed more than 175 people to capture the spirit of this talented American original"-





Meryl Gordon is the author of the New York Times bestselling Mrs. Astor Regrets and Phantom of Fifth Avenue, a Wall Street Journal bestseller. She is an award-winning journalist and a regular contributor to Vanity Fair. She is on the graduate journalism faculty at New York University's Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute. She is considered an expert on "elder abuse" and has appeared on NPR, CNN and other outlets whenever there is a high-profile case.





*Starred Review* Journalist Gordon, author of Mrs. Astor Regrets (2008) and The Phantom of Fifth Avenue (2014), again fascinatingly chronicles the remarkable life of an elite twentieth-century American woman. Born Rachel Lambert in 1910, Bunny, as she was always known, lived to be 103, and live she did. Her first marriage irreparably damaged during WWII, in 1948 Bunny married heir and philanthropist Paul Mellon, with whom she shared a voracious appetite for collecting art. For years, Bunny spent the equivalent of $1 million annually on a Balenciaga wardrobe while she collected homes, all fully staffed, in Virginia, Cape Cod, Antigua, New York, Nantucket, and Paris. But it was Bunny's abiding love for nature and gardening, nursed from childhood, that would remain her greatest joy and the showcase for her unrivaled talent. Close companion to Jackie Kennedy, Bunny designed the White House Rose Garden in 1961 and experienced the ensuing turbulent years alongside her friend. Readers interested in gardening, art, and interior design will drool over Bunny's fine tastes, and her ease at fulfilling every one of them, but all lovers of biographies will marvel at Gordon's portrayal of Bunny's long life, and the significant figures who buzzed in and out of it. Copyright 2017 Booklist Reviews.





A rapturous biography of heiress and celebrated landscape gardener Rachel "Bunny" Mellon (1910-2014).Vanity Fair contributor Gordon (The Phantom of Fifth Avenue: The Mysterious Life and Scandalous Death of Heiress Huguette Clark, 2014, etc.) vividly details how Mellon, whose paternal grandfather developed Listerine, was raised in an ultrawealthy milieu of fox hunting, posh boarding schools, and debutante balls. She was groomed to become a lady of excellent deportment; as adoringly described by the author, she was a "fresh blossom from a prominent family" who later married Paul Mellon (Mellon Bank), "the inheritor of a robber baron fortune." Gordon's journalistic skill (she teaches at NYU's Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute) is evident in her meticulous description of Mellon's lineage and long life, a portrait constructed through research into dozens of biographies, journals, and letters going back nearly a century. Readers of Gordon's other books will certainly enjoy her portrayals of the amusements, travels, and exploits of Mellon's peers; as demonstrated by both Mrs. Astor Regrets and The Phantom of Fifth Avenue, the author has shown great facility in recounting upper-class lives, especially those of women. Though Mellon was an acclaimed landscaper and gardener and was regarded as a woman with "an extraordinary eye and curiosity," she was hesitant when President John F. Kennedy and first lady Jackie implored her to redesign the White House Rose Garden. (Jackie lauded Mellon as "a visual genius.") Gordon effectively details how Mellon transformed the "forlorn and outdated" garden into a courtyard showpiece by adding magnolia and an assortment of other trees, but her admiring descriptions are occasionally overwrought. Ultimately, Gordon heeded Mellon's directive that, above all, she produce a "friendly, non-gossipy" memoir and "be kind." A reverential biographical portrait and a window into 20th-century American aristocracy. Copyright Kirkus 2017 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.






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