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Chateau-sur-Mer: Background information when reading The Maze at Windermere

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The Maze at Windermere

by Gregory Blake Smith

The Maze at Windermere by Gregory Blake Smith X
The Maze at Windermere by Gregory Blake Smith
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  • First Published:
    Jan 2018, 352 pages
    Paperback:
    Jan 2019, 352 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Poornima Apte
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About this Book

Chateau-sur-Mer

This article relates to The Maze at Windermere

Print Review

Chateau-sur-MerThe Windermere estate where the contemporary arm of The Maze at Windermere is set, is modeled after one of the historic Newport mansions, Chateau-sur-Mer. Until the Vanderbilts' Breakers mansion came on the scene in the late nineteenth century, the Chateau was the most palatial estate in Newport known for its Victorian architecture and wallpapers and stenciling.

Chateau-sur-MerThe Chateau hosted many large-scale events including an annual country picnic known as the Fete Champetre, a fictionalized version of which is detailed in the novel. It is believed that these lavish parties cemented the advent of the Gilded Age in Newport. The Italianate-style villa was first built for a China trade merchant, William Shepard Wetmore. His son, George Peabody Wetmore went on to inherit the property upon his father's death and eventually became Governor of Rhode Island and served as Senator.

Chateau-sur-Mer MazeThe estate also had an actual maze made by artist Richard Fleischner. The real-life one seems to have been much less intimidating than the convoluted creation that Sandy is confronted with in the book. The Chateau was designated as a National Historic Landmark in 2006 and is open for tours seasonally.

Chateau-sur-Mer MazeLearn more about some of the other mansions of Newport by reading the Beyond the Book for The American Heiress.

Chateau-sur-Mer, courtesy of www.antiquesandhearts.com
Two views of the maze at Chateau-sur-Mer, designed by Richard Fleischner, courtesy of www.deldeobarzune.com

Article by Poornima Apte

This "beyond the book article" relates to The Maze at Windermere. It originally ran in January 2018 and has been updated for the January 2019 paperback edition. Go to magazine.

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