Magazine article Sea Classics

MILLIONAIRES, MANSIONS & MOTOR YACHTS: An Era of Opulence

Magazine article Sea Classics

MILLIONAIRES, MANSIONS & MOTOR YACHTS: An Era of Opulence

Article excerpt

MILLIONAIRES, MANSIONS & MOTOR YACHTS: An Era of Opulence By Ross MacTaggart 224 Pages, Lavishly illustrated, 11.5''x 11.5'', Hardback. ISBN: 0-393-05762-3 - $59.95. W. W. Norton & Co., New York; www.wwnorton.com

If you are anything other than from the manor born or a self-made millionaire, this book might not be for you. If its sumptuous pages fail to make you green with envy, then you are also definitely in the minority for this tome is the ultimate coffee table conversation piece, an item guaranteed to elicit "ooohs, aaahhs and oh mys" by anyone perusing its enviably pretentious content.

Through a lively text and more than 200 stunning images, Millionaires, Mansions, and Motor Yachts re-creates an era of extravagance that today seems incredible. Dominating this volume are the mansions and yachts of Alfred and Jessie du Pont. Equally larger-than-life personalities include Thomas Lawson, his expansive estate, Dreamwold, and yachts such as Dreamer, empire builder John Spreckels and his 227-foot Venetia; Emily Cadwalader, who commissioned a vessel destined for world renown as a US presidential yacht, before checkmating this achievement by ordering the largest private yacht ever built, the mighty Sauarona; Eugene Tompkins, the Napoleon of theatre managers; George Fabyan, Harry Darlington, and William Rands. Enfolded in this volume's fascinating pages are not only the lives of wealthy individuals who shaped this era but also the curmudgeonly writer/yachtsman Thomas Felming Day, photographer Nathaniel Stebbins, and the designers and builders who created the splendid yachts which here return to life. …

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