Published April 2009 by Penguin Books
Source: bought it after hearing about it on NPR
Florence Evelyn Nesbit was born into the upper middle class. Unfortunately, when her father died it was discovered that he had been quite a bad businessman who left his widow, daughter and son, Howard in dire circumstances. Mrs. Nesbit proved to be hopeless when it came time to provide her children. Before long the trio was shuffling from rundown boardinghouse to rundown boardinghouse until the day Evelyn is literally "discovered" on the street by an artist who wanted to paint her picture.
Soon the beautiful young girl was earning enough as a popular artist's model to support her family and they were lured to New York where Evelyn quickly became the muse of artists and photographer's alike. Her likeness appeared on sheet music, in advertisements and even in the paintings hung in churches.
When Evelyn's dreams took her to the stage, her life changed even more rapidly. Young and old, rich and poor - men began sending her love letters, flowers and begging for her time. She had very little interest in any of them, although her dear mama was more than willing to allow some of the wealthy, older gentlemen to fawn over her sixteen-year-old daughter.
I was drawn to this book because Evelyn, Thaw and White were all characters in E. L. Doctorow's Ragtime, a book I adored.
I have always wondered about Evelyn Nesbit and when I heard about this book I knew it was one for me. Uruburu did not disappoint. The book is well-researched and works on many levels, as a fine piece of story telling, recounting of historical and a look a society as the country was caught between one way of live and another."To anyone familiar with E. L. Doctorow's novel Ragtime, the name Evelyn Nesbit may evoke the mauve-tinted crucible of the sentimentality inclined and cynically named Gilded Age. To others, it may signify passion and perversion, murder and scandal, "love, hate, villainy, perfidy, and outraged innocence." The extinction of an era. And a red velvet swing."