Midium for a New Century
On November 1, 1899, Hearst departed for a long trip abroad, accompanied by the Willson sisters and their parents. Hearst and his party spent the month of November in London, Paris, and seaside villages in Italy. For most of the remaining months of the trip—from December until early April 1900— Hearst took a slow cruise up the Nile River, making stops in Cairo and Luxor. The trip generated the type of gossip that would become a hallmark of Hearst's life. Some said that he went abroad to live in a harem and dropped out of sight because he suffered from venereal disease. The rumors recalled earlier accusations, such as those of a U.S. congressman who claimed that that Hearst traveled on the Nile to restore his health “from loathsome disease contracted only by contagion in the haunts of vice.” The only clues to the state of Hearst's health during his travels in late 1899 and early 1900 are in the letters he sent back home to his mother in which he made references to a stomach ailment and a nonspecific “nervousness.”
While Hearst and his future in-laws were abroad, changes were made to the adjoining Dewey Theater and Willson's resort just below Fourteenth Street. On or close to October 24, 1899, when a new building code affecting theater construction was adopted, certain major alterations were made on “Big” Tim Sullivan's properties. In court records related to a later use of the properties, transcripts contain no specific documentation that the Will
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Publication information: Book title: Hearst over Hollywood: Power, Passion, and Propaganda in the Movies. Contributors: Louis Pizzitola - Author. Publisher: Columbia University Press. Place of publication: New York. Publication year: 2002. Page number: 73.
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