I am so happy to share this riveting book, Clara and Mr. Tiffany,by Susan Vreeland. Ms. Vreeland imparts fascinating history and details about daily life in New York City at the end of the 19th century in the most beguiling way via the protagonist, Clara Driscoll. Clara is not a fictional character, but the designer of 30+ Tiffany lamps and the director of the design department of "Tiffany girls". The author deftly combines the zeitgeist of the political and social climate addressing working conditions, immigration, and squalid tenements with the evolving role of women in American life. The boarding house, where Clara lives among artists, actors, and socialists, gives depth and richness to the stories of that time. The quality of the writing and the I-can't-put-it-down nature of the story makes this a must read for those who enjoy historical fiction.
He tugged at his beard. "It's brilliant! An entirely new product. We'll be the first on the market. And not just peacock featherth. Flowerth too!" Excitement overtook his struggle to control his lisp, which surfaced only when he spoke with passion.
I opened the beveled-glass door under the sign announcing Tiffany Glass and Decorating Company in ornate bronze. A new sign with a new name. Fine. I felt new too. In the ground-floor showroom of the five-story building, stained-glass windows hung from the high ceiling, and large mosaic panels leaned against the walls. Despite the urgency of my business, I couldn't resist taking a quick look at the free-form vases, bronze desk sets, pendulum clocks, and art nouveau candelabras. It was the oil lamps that bothered me. Their blown-glass shades sat above squat, bulbous bases too earthbound to be elegant. Mr. Tiffany was capable of more grace than that.
Would you keep reading?