The Lioness of Boston (Hardcover)
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"The Lioness of Boston is a 'factionalized' portrait of the mistress of the Isabella Stewart Gardner museum. As a 20 year old newlywed, she married a wealthy trader, but found it hard to find her place in Boston society. Isabella worked hard to find her true identity and where she belonged in the world. In her travels she gained not only confidence, but established herself as a highly knowledgeable part of the worldwide art scene creating a vast collection of invaluable pieces of not only works of art, but also rare books and thousands of archival objects. You may recall in Boston in 1990 thieves broke in and stole several highly valuable works of art which have never been recovered. To this very day there is still a ten million dollar reward for their return. An interesting read that let's you see her evolve from an awkward, uncomfortable cub into the Lioness of Boston."--Reviewed by Penny
"A Must-Read Book of Spring 2023"--Town & CountryA deeply evocative novel of the life of Isabella Stewart Gardner, a daring visionary who created an inimitable legacy in American art and transformed the city of Boston itself. By the time Isabella Stewart Gardner opened her Italian palazzo-style home as a museum in 1903 to showcase her collection of old masters, antiques, and objects d'art, she was already well-known for scandalizing Boston's polite society. But when Isabella first arrived in Boston in 1861, she was twenty years old, newly married to a wealthy trader, and unsure of herself. Puzzled by the frosty reception she received from stuffy bluebloods, she strived to fit in. After two devastating tragedies and rejection from upper-society, Isabella discovered her spirit and cast off expectations. Freed by travel, Isabella explores the world of art, ideas, and letters, meeting such kindred spirits as Henry James and Oscar Wilde. From London and Paris to Egypt and Asia, she develops a keen eye for paintings and objects, and meets feminists ready to transform nineteenth century thinking in the twentieth century. Isabella becomes an eccentric trailblazer, painted by John Singer Sargent in a portrait of daring d colletage, and fond of such stunts as walking a pair of lions in the Boston Public Garden. The Lioness of Boston is a portrait of what society expected a woman's life to be, shattered by a courageous soul who rebelled and was determined to live on her own terms.