Today is the publication date of Love, Fiercely: A Gilded Age Romance!
This is a book that was years in the making, but rewarded me bountifully in clueing me in to the amazing Icon and Iconographer, Edith Minturn Stokes and I.N. Phelps Stokes. Denizens of a more glamorous America, they loved each other and lived their lives with passion, in the course of which becoming models for one of the greatest portraits of John Singer Sargent. It’s now hanging in the new American Wing at the Metropolitan Museum. Newton and Edith threw themselves into philanthropic pursuits when they had absolutely no cause to do anything aside from living the grand life in their many houses. She was a great beauty, the face of the age, subject of a monumental statue at the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893. He was an architect, and also compiled the most comprehensive, priceless collection of New York City maps, views and sheer information in The Iconography of Manhattan Island, which he published in six weighty volumes over the course of twelve years. The endeavor nearly ruined Stokes; only his love for Edith saved him. Theirs is an amazing story.