The Last Castle

The Epic Story of Love, Loss, and American Royalty in the Nation's Largest Home

The Last Castle

A New York Times bestseller with an "engaging narrative and array of detail” (The Wall Street Journal), the “intimate and sweeping” (Raleigh News & Observer) untold, true story behind the Biltmore Estate—the largest, grandest private residence in North America, which has seen more than 120 years of history pass by its front door. The story of Biltmore spans World Wars, the Jazz Age, the Depression, and generations of the famous Vanderbilt family, and features a captivating cast of real-life characters including F. Scott Fitzgerald, Thomas Wolfe, Teddy Roosevelt, John Singer Sargent, James Whistler, Henry James, and Edith Wharton. Orphaned at a young age, Edith Stuyvesant Dresser claimed lineage from one of New York’s best known families. She grew up in Newport and Paris, and her engagement and marriage to George Vanderbilt was one of the most watched events of Gilded Age society. But none of this prepared her to be mistress of Biltmore House. Before their marriage, the wealthy and bookish Vanderbilt had dedicated his life to creating a spectacular European-style estate on 125,000 acres of North Carolina wilderness. He summoned the famous landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted to tame the grounds, collaborated with celebrated architect Richard Morris Hunt to build a 175,000-square-foot chateau, filled it with priceless art and antiques, and erected a charming village beyond the gates. Newlywed Edith was now mistress of an estate nearly three times the size of Washington, DC and benefactress of the village and surrounding rural area. When fortunes shifted and changing times threatened her family, her home, and her community, it was up to Edith to save Biltmore—and secure the future of the region and her husband’s legacy. This is the fascinating, “soaring and gorgeous” (Karen Abbott) story of how the largest house in America flourished, faltered, and ultimately endured to this day.

Fodor's The Carolinas & Georgia

with the Best Road Trips

Fodor's The Carolinas & Georgia

Ready to experience the Carolinas and Georgia? The experts at Fodor’s are here to help. Fodor’s The Carolinas & Georgia travel guide is packed with customizable itineraries with top recommendations, detailed maps of the Carolinas and Georgia, and exclusive tips from locals. Whether you want to drive through scenic Blue Ridge Parkway, sample delicious Southern delicacies, or visit breweries and distilleries, this user-friendly guidebook will help you plan it all out. Our local writers vet every recommendation to ensure that you not only make the most of your time, but that you also have all the most up-to-date and essential information you need to plan the perfect trip. This new edition has been FULLY-REDESIGNED with a new layout and beautiful images for more intuitive travel planning! Fodor’s The Carolinas & Georgia includes: ● AN ULTIMATE EXPERIENCE GUIDE that visually captures the top highlights of North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia. ● SPECTACULAR COLOR PHOTOS AND FEATURES throughout, including special features on The Great Smoky Mountains and Civil War History. ● INSPIRATIONAL “BEST OF” LISTS identify the best things to see, do, eat, drink, and more. ● MULTIPLE ITINERARIES for various trip lengths help you maximize your time. ● MORE THAN 25 DETAILED MAPS help you plot your itinerary and navigate confidently. ● EXPERT RECOMMENDATIONS ON HOTELS AND RESTAURANTS offer options for every taste. ● TRIP PLANNING TOOLS AND PRACTICAL TIPS include: guides to getting around, saving money and time, beating the crowds; and a calendar of festivals and events. ● LOCAL INSIDER ADVICE tells you where to find under-the-radar gems, along with the best walking tours. ● HISTORICAL AND CULTURAL OVERVIEWS add perspective and enrich your travels. ● SPECIAL FEATURES on off-the-beaten-trail serene nature spots, from trails through the Blue Ridge Mountains, to the Twin Falls waterfall outside of Greenville, South Carolina, plus a look at Gullah culture in the Lowcountry. ● COVERS: Savannah, Atlanta, Tybee, and St. Simons in Georgia; Charleston, Myrtle Beach, Greenville, and Hilton Head in South Carolina; Asheville, Chapel Hill, Raleigh, Durham, the Outer Banks Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and Charlotte in North Carolina; and more. ABOUT FODOR'S AUTHORS: Each Fodor's Travel Guide is researched and written by local experts. Fodor’s has been offering expert advice for all tastes and budgets for over 80 years. Planning on visiting Savannah or Charleston? Check out Fodor’s In Focus Savannah and Fodor's In Focus Charleston.

Natural Rivals

Natural Rivals

John Muir and Gifford Pinchot have often been seen as the embodiment of conflicting environmental philosophies. Muir, the preservationist and co-founder of the Sierra Club. Pinchot, the first chief of the U.S. Forest Service advocating sustainability in timber harvests, instituted conservation. The idealistic Muir saw nature as something special and separate; the pragmatic Pinchot accepted that people used the products of nature. The environmental movement’s original sin, and the root of many of it's difficulties, was its inability to reconcile these two viewpoints—and these two men.So how was it that Muir and Pinchot went camping together—and delighted in each other's company? Does this mean that the seemingly irreparable divide in environmental ethos is not as unbridgeable as it might seem? The perceived rivalry between these two men has obscured a fascinating and hopeful story. Muir and Pinchot actually spent years in an alliance that lead to the original movement for public lands. Their shared commitment to the glories of natural landscapes united their disparate talents and viewpoints to create a fledgling and uniquely American vision of land ownership and management.

The Architects: Richard Morris Hunt

The Architects: Richard Morris Hunt

From the pedestal supporting the Statue of Liberty, to the façade of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, to the Biltmore, the largest private home ever built in the United States, Richard Morris Hunt's designs dominated the architectural scene in the second half of the nineteenth century. Hunt, the first American to attend the prestigious École des Beaux-Arts in Paris, was responsible for popularizing a distinctive style we recognize today as "Châteauesque." Here, in this essay by Ormonde de Kay Jr., is Hunt's surprising and little-told story.

Yet Being Someone Other

Yet Being Someone Other

Yet Being Someone Other is the most revealing book that Laurens van der Post wrote about his extraordinary and eventful life, and the most far-reaching; it is a distillation of the experiences that have moved him at the deepest level of the imagination and made him the exceptional person and writer he was.