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Publisher's Summary

A new biography of Bunny Mellon, the style icon and American aristocrat who designed the White House Rose Garden for her friend JFK and served as a living witness to 20th century American history, operating in the high-level arenas of politics, diplomacy, art, and fashion.

Bunny Mellon, who died in 2014 at age 103, was press-shy during her lifetime. With the cooperation of Bunny Mellon's family, author Meryl Gordon received access to thousands of pages of her letters, diaries, and appointment calendars and has interviewed more than 175 people to capture the spirit of this talented American original.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying material will be available in your Library section along with the audio.

©2017 Meryl Gordon (P)2017 Hachette Audio

Critic Reviews

"With an eye for telling detail balanced by nuanced understanding, Meryl Gordon explores Bunny Mellon's impeccably designed homes and gardens as well as the marital deceptions, family tragedies, intense friendships, and political intrigues. A tale of surprising creativity and resilience." (Sally Bedell Smith, author of Prince Charles: The Passions and Paradoxes of an Improbable Life)
"Meryl Gordon's heroic reporting and shrewd insights have given us a fully drawn portrait of one of the 20th century's most compelling figures, by turns warmhearted and cold-blooded, coping with an emptiness no treasure chests of jewels and art could fill." (Jeff Greenfield, author of If Kennedy Lived)

What listeners say about Bunny Mellon

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Enchanting

I loved this so much. A wonderful insight into a bygone era through the eyes of a creative genius who never sought recognition. The narration was perfect. I didn’t want Bunny’s story to end.

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Profile Image for AskSeekKnock
  • AskSeekKnock
  • 06-11-2017

Amazing story. Amazing life.

This is truly a history lesson for a time gone by. Excellently written and read.

11 people found this helpful

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  • H. Short
  • 25-06-2019

Full of history.

A lot I didn't know about 1940, 50 and 60's Virginia horse country. Very worth the time. Best book I read all year.

7 people found this helpful

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  • Minda Leah Kahn
  • 01-09-2018

Well written bio.

Meryl Gordon does a great job telling the story of these famous but unknown people. Vanessa Cortland has a lovely voice to listen to but it is really important in an audible book to pronounce the names of people and locations correctly. Like fingers on a blackboard. This is also the fault of the producer. To get Jann Webber’s wrong after all of his decades st Rolling Stone is inexcusable. If you are going to read a story about famous people and places know them.

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  • AKA farm girl
  • 11-03-2018

A stunning and enjoyable biography

This remarkable life story of a woman whose belief she was "ordinary" was a chance to witness history that happened because of a few well intentioned people in the right place with the means to make a difference. Bunny Mellon had considerable talent, not always a saint, but genuinely made a difference to the landscape of history. Reading the book felt like a glimpse into the American aristocracy.

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  • john
  • 20-04-2020

Most delightful book I've ever listed to

Vanessa Cortlands voice is only equivalent to drinking a dark red while eating truffle-salted, grilled, portobello mushrooms. Her voice is dark, rich and earthy, complementing beautifully, though unexpectedly, with the American Heiress Bunny Mellon.
This is not a rag to riches story. This is a story about a woman who existed in the crust of society all her life. Bunny's life is not a sea of rapids rather it is sailing on a beautiful lake; a gust of wind may tilt the boat but in the end she is always back on land, hat straight and smiling.
Unlike other notable figures, what Bunny Mellon had was time. Indeed she lived to one hundred and three. And in this time she cultivated life-long friendships with presidents first wives, she was a mother, an art collector, a decorator, advisor, and one of the few people, always, with an inside view. Shining above all you will find Bunny the Horticulturalist, building one of the most recognizable gardens in the world.
A truly great listen, it's as easy, and intricate, as listening to Frank Sinatra.

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  • Dennis Lamkin
  • 04-01-2018

An honest and interested story

Well written story of a simple billionaire spanning over 100 years. A ratified atmosphere is described in great detail.

7 people found this helpful

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  • Nancy V
  • 29-12-2020

Life of Determination

Amazing woman who lived life in a bubble of self created beauty with the talent and ability to be involved with interesting people and yet not involved with people in need.. Not sure how I felt about her after listening to the book. Living to past 100 and being an avid gardener must be recognized as a prescription for happiness.

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  • Joey Koo
  • 27-08-2020

Sumptuous- a wonderfully detailed biography.

This is one of the most wonderful, detailed biographies I’ve ever read. It was a beautiful and intriguing look into the life of a American icon. It’s written in a way that gives the reader a vivid look into her life and a taste of how she lived. Overall a wonderful book and a fascinating story.

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  • Reeneebeebee
  • 23-06-2019

Fascinating

Well written and read. Spellbinding could not resist learning about the lives of America's wealthiest society.. Very enjoyable.

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  • Deborah Van Zant
  • 19-06-2021

Wonderful!!

Beautifully read and written - enjoyed every minute! A beautiful life, full of lavish details and comforting antidotes.

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