The Last Mrs. Astor: Book summary and reviews of The Last Mrs. Astor by Frances Kiernan

The Last Mrs. Astor

A New York Story

by Frances Kiernan

The Last Mrs. Astor by Frances Kiernan
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  • Published in USA  May 2007
    256 pages
    Genre: Biographies & Memoirs

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Book Summary

Hers is a story out of Edith Wharton. After a disastrous early marriage, Brooke Astor wedded the notoriously ill-tempered Vincent Astor, who died in 1959. In a highly publicized courtroom battle, Brooke fought off an attempt to break Vincent's will, which left some $67 million to the Vincent Astor Foundation. As the foundation's president, Brooke would use this legacy to benefit New York, where the Astor fortune had been made.

Brooke would personally visit each grant applicant and charm anyone she met. At her one-hundredth birthday, princes and presidents honored her, but in 2006 a grandson petitioned the courts to have his father removed as Brooke's guardian. Once again an Astor court battle became the stuff of headlines.

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Media Reviews

"A portrait of the grande dame in decline, manipulated by her son is a poignant end to a grand saga." - PW.

"With all the headlines about her son's unguardianlike behavior, it's good to have a biography reacquainting us with Mrs. Brooke Astor." - Library Journal.

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