Consuelo and Alva Vanderbilt (Magill's Literary Annual 2007)
It was November 6, 1895, at 12:20 p.m., and the elaborate wedding at New York City’s St. Thomas Episcopal Church was on hold.The ushers sauntered up to their stations, three on one side of the central aisle and three on the otherthen sauntered back to the church porch again. Mr [Walter] Damrosch, who had completed his concert programme, beat time with his baton in silence, his head turned round towards the church door. The Duke of Marlborough began to fidget nervously, and only regained some of his composure when he noted the English sang-froid of his best man. As the delay lengthened, the guests shuffled and whispered. Alva was observed looking uncharacteristically worried. And then decidedly strained. Five minutes passed . . . then ten . . . then twenty . . . and still the bride had not appeared.
The bride-to-be was home weeping uncontrollably at the prospect of entering into matrimony with a loathsome Englishman. Her socially ambitious mother had forced her into the union, however, and there was no way out. Trapped like a bird in a gilded cage, she had been denied contact with the man she loved. Her mother had feigned a heart attack and, when Consuelo remonstrated against the impending nuptials, threatened to shoot the object of her affections (a thirty-three-year-old rake). Attempting to offer comfort by pointing out the advantages to becoming a duchess and at the same time escaping her mother’s clutches was...
(The entire section is 1953 words.)
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Bibliography (Magill's Literary Annual 2007)
Booklist 102, no. 7 (December 1, 2005): 18.
Elle 21, no. 5 (January, 2006): 60.
Kirkus Reviews 73, no. 22 (November 15, 2005): 1226.
The New York Times Book Review 155 (February 19, 2006): 16-17.
The New Yorker 82 (February 13, 2006): 170.
Publishers Weekly 252, no. 44 (November 7, 2005): 67.
USA Today, March 9, 2006, p. D5.
Vogue 195, no. 12 (December, 2005): 265.
(The entire section is 34 words.)