“The Lioness of Boston,” by Emily Franklin, is a deeply evocative and imaginative portrayal of the life of Isabella Stewart Gardner, a daring visionary who created an inimitable legacy in American art and transformed the city of Boston itself.
By the time Isabella Stewart Gardner opened her Italian palazzo-style home as a museum in 1903 to showcase her collection of old masters, antiques and objects d’art, she was already well-known for scandalizing Boston’s polite society. But when Isabella first arrived in Boston in 1861, she was 20 years old, newly married to a wealthy trader and unsure of herself. Puzzled by the frosty reception she received from stuffy blue bloods, she strived to fit in. After two devastating tragedies and rejection from upper society, Isabella discovered her spirit and cast off expectations.
Freed by travel, Isabella explores the world of art, ideas and letters, meeting such kindred spirits as Henry James and Oscar Wilde. From London and Paris to Egypt and Asia, she develops a keen eye for paintings and objects, and meets feminists ready to transform 19th-century thinking in the 20th century. Isabella becomes an eccentric trailblazer, painted by John Singer Sargent in a portrait of daring décolletage, and fond of such stunts as walking a pair of lions in the Boston Public Garden.
“The Lioness of Boston” is an intimate portrait of what society expected a woman’s life to be, shattered by a courageous soul who rebelled and determined to live on her own terms.
Author Emily Franklin will be interviewed by Izzi Abrams, past president of JCCNS, librarian and book group moderator.
This event includes a book signing and brunch.
Community partner: Explorer’s Lifelong Learning Institute+ More... - Less...
4 Community Road
Marblehead, MA 01945
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