Death in a Prairie House

by William R. Drennan | Nonfiction |
ISBN: 9780299222147 Global Overview for this book
Registered by wingGoryDetailswing of Nashua, New Hampshire USA on 2/5/2019
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1 journaler for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by wingGoryDetailswing from Nashua, New Hampshire USA on Tuesday, February 05, 2019
I got this softcover from an online seller. I hadn't heard of the horrifying murders at Frank Lloyd Wright's home, Taliesin, until I read Loving Frank, a novel based on Wright's relationship with Mamah Cheney.

The book features a fair bit of biographical information on Frank and Mamah, plus a look at his professional and financial ups and downs. It does seem that the two were devoted to each other, though the ways in which they chose to part from their respective spouses came across as more than a bit harsh - not that they had much choice at that time. (Mamah's ex-husband seemed to cope fairly well, and certainly went to great lengths to keep from vilifying Mamah to their children. Indeed, he encouraged them to spend time with their mother when she was able to manage it. That makes the tragedy all the worse, as the timing cost her children their lives, when for most of the year they would not have been at Taliesin at all.)

The crime was so horrible and sensational that I'm still surprised I'd never heard of it. Wright was famous at the time, both for his architecture and for the scandal of his relationships, and the combination of ax-murder and catastrophic fire made the papers across the country. Given that the killer was either a "disgruntled employee" or out-and-out insane - or perhaps both - and that he died from the results of self-inflicted poison before providing much in the way of an explanation, it left the surviving victims and their loved ones agonizing over just how this had happened... Truly a nightmare.

The book includes an epilogue describing the fates of the surviving characters and of many of Wright's works - quite a few of which did not last nearly as long as they were designed to. Taliesin itself was rebuilt, burned again, rebuilt a third time...

Released 1 mo ago (3/19/2019 UTC) at Little Free Library, N. Adams St. in Manchester, New Hampshire USA


I left this book in the Little Free Library; hope the finder enjoys it!

[See other recent releases in NH here.]

*** Released for the 2019 Four Elements release challenge. ***

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