The Last Castle


The Last Castle, by Denise Kiernan

32/25 | Started 11.11.21 • Finished 12.11.21 | 3.5 stars


A thorough history of the Biltmore along with its principal mastermind George Vanderbilt, his wife, Edith, and their daughter Cornelia was this month's book club read. I wasn't as crazy about it as a lot of the reviews seem to suggest I should have been, but overall it was a good read with a lot of information. Problem was that at times it seemed like too much information, taking too long to get across, and in a rather sterile manner. To me, it lacked a poetic language that could have easily been brought out by the architectural and horticultural masterpiece.


Half the pleasure in life comes from learning to choose between things.

Some of the most interesting tidbits were how the Biltmore came to be open to the public; how George seemed to have no understanding of his own spending; and how the town was built up just as much by George, Edith, and Cornelia as was the mansion itself.


“I know that years from now there will be many other women in politics,” Clement said, “but you have to start a thing.”

If you're into history and especially that of some of America's past financial elite, then by all means dive in.

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