Friday, December 1, 2017

Willig Winter

The second time I went to New York it was more than just a rushed trip tacked onto a family vacation to Washington. The second time was magical, going to all the museums and looking at all the art I'd spent years reading about. During that trip I discovered The Frick Collection, which is located right on fifth avenue and was the home of Henry Clay Frick. It's not just the art that is amazing, though seriously you will be shocked by the number of pieces you recognize from Ingres to Renoir to Vermeer to Rembrandt, but the house itself is a work of art preserved in time. It's like really cheap time travel! You feel as if Edith Wharton were about to hold court over high tea in the luxurious indoor garden. Years later when I went back to New York I discovered the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, which is located in the Andrew Carnegie Mansion. Again I was walking in another era. These homes were built by the New York upper crust as they slowly started moving to the Upper East Side. I was so pleasantly surprised when I picked up Lauren Willig's latest book, The English Wife, to slip back into this world again. A world of excess and elegance, fortunes lost and gained, and secrets, but all contained within this other time. So whether you knew about Lauren Willig's new book yet or not, I think you can feel the theme month coming on right? The English Wife is Lauren's fourth stand-alone and therefore a fourth theme month was not just necessary but vital. It's in another time and another world, but one I hope you've been wanting to explore as much as I have over the years. 

But enough from me, let's hear from Lauren as we welcome in Willig Winter!

"When Miss Eliza asked me if I would recommend six or seven books I’d used in writing The English Wife for a companion read, I thought, easy peasy!

Then I looked at my bookshelf.

I’d forgotten just how much went into The English Wife. My research pile included book-length accounts of infamous murder cases in turn of the century New York (of which there were more than you would expect), oversized coffee table books with pictures of mansions and marquetry and jewels and gowns, extensive histories of Dutch New York, biographies of robber barons, sociological studies of nineteenth century women’s charitable organizations, memoirs of nineteenth century authors and socialites, unpublished dissertations about specific towns in the Hudson Valley in the mid to late nineteenth century, and books on topics that I can’t go into without giving plot twists away.

And that’s just the New York end of things. We won’t even get into all the Newport research, the gossipy accounts of past residents and glossy pictures of “cottages”. A chunk of the book takes place in England and a smaller chunk in France, so I also have shelves and shelves of books on topics like theatre in Victorian England, monographs about Paris in the Belle Epoque, and biographies of Proust. I may have gotten just a little carried away while reading up for this book....

So, in the interest of brevity, I’m sticking to the New York-centric books for this particular list and keeping it to non-fiction. With one exception at the end. You’ll see why.

At some point, I’ll try to put up a more comprehensive list on my website. If I don’t get crushed beneath a giant pile of research books along the way." - Lauren Willig

Literally the seven books Lauren has selected look beyond tempting, but in the interest of full disclosure, unlike Ashford April (The Asford Affair), This Summer (That Summer), and Jazzy July (The Other Daughter), I have been unable to read them all and write reviews because this year has been a personal as well as a global dumpster fire. But my guilt is your reward, because this means I feel obliged to do a giveaway!  

Giveaway Prize:
A copy of The English Wife personalized TO YOU from Lauren's tour stop at Murder by the Book in Houston on January 17th, 2018

The Rules:
1. Open to EVERYONE (for clarification, this means international too).

2. Please make sure I have a way to contact you if your name is drawn, either your blogger profile or a link to your website/blog or you could even include your email address with your comment(s) or email me.

3. Giveaway ends Sunday, December 31st at 11:59PM CST (Yes, that's New Year's Eve folks!)

4. How to enter: Just comment on this post for a chance to win!

5. And for those addicted to getting extra entries:

  • +1 for answering the question: What is your favorite house turned museum?
  • +2 for becoming a follower
  • +10 if you are already a follower
  • +10 for each time you advertise this contest - blog post, instagram (@miss.eliza), twitter (@eliza_lefebvre), etc. (but you only get credit for the first post in each platform, so tweet all you like, and I thank you for it, but you'll only get the +10 once from twitter). Also please leave a link! 
  • +10 for each comment you leave on other Willig Winter posts with something other than "I hope I win!" 
Good luck!


I ♡ Lauren Willig!!

Looking forward to reading the new book! I really enjoyed Ashford, Daughter and That Summer. You mention The Frick and I visited several times when I lived in NYC. It is such a unique place where the architecture is as much of a feature as the art on the walls! I love books that feature old New York!

Me too Kerry! ME TOO!

SO TRUE Brandy! You will LOVE Lauren's The English Wife, I have a feeling about it!

I love her writing!

Me too Jillian! ME TOO!!!

The winner is Kerry! I'll be emailing you sometime today!

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