The Loveliest Woman in America: A Tragic Actress, Her Lost Diaries, and Her Granddaughter's Search for Home

Front Cover
Harper Collins, Jun 10, 2008 - Biography & Autobiography - 339 pages

In 1927, at the age of twenty-three, Rosamond Pinchot was hailed as "The Loveliest Woman in America." At thirty-three, in a sudden, shocking, and highly public act, Rosamond took her own life, setting in motion generations of confusion in the family she left behind.

Nearly seventy years after her demise, her granddaughter Bibi received a box of more than 1,500 pages of Rosamond's diaries and embarked on a seven-year journey to make sense of the silence that surrounded Rosamond's death and to discover the grandmother she never knew. An acclaimed beauty, actress, socialite, and outdoorswoman, Rosamond became the key to Bibi's understanding of her enigmatic and adventurous father, her glamorous but painfully divided family, and herself.

Through the silent labyrinth of a brilliant but troubled family, Bibi pieced together Rosamond's life story—her magical embrace of nature, her love for two compelling but difficult men, and her circle of "on tops," intimates, and mentors, including Elizabeth Arden, Eleanor Roosevelt, George Cukor, and David O. Selznick. Bibi also discovered the tragic legacy of the women in her family, including Rosamond's cousin Edie Sedgwick and her half sister, Mary Pinchot Meyer, whose murder in 1964 has never been solved.

As if looking in a mirror, Bibi found parts of herself in the complex, tragic, yet beautiful story of the high-spirited Rosamond Pinchot and designed a mission at midlife: to outlive the often difficult, but exuberant and passionate, lives of her ancestors.

 

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
0
4 stars
0
3 stars
3
2 stars
1
1 star
1

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - lauriebrown54 - LibraryThing

The sobriquet of loveliest woman in America was bestowed by the press on Rosamund Pinchot, grandmother of the author. A member of a wealthy family, she was discovered by a Broadway producer onboard a ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - dark_phoenix54 - LibraryThing

The sobriquet of loveliest woman in America was bestowed by the press on Rosamund Pinchot, grandmother of the author. A member of a wealthy family, she was discovered by a Broadway producer onboard a ... Read full review

Contents

The Miracle
3
The Landscape of Memory
52
A Chronology of Chaos
75
A Synonym for Love
99
The King of Jeeps
148
Paradise
177
Our Town
199
The Topography of the Brain
249
Beauty Sessions
300
Afterword
313
Acknowledgments
325
Notes
331
Bibliography
337
Copyright

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2008)

Bibi Gaston, a practicing landscape architect, has kept a diary since the age of eight.

Bibliographic information