Paris: Publications La Fare, 1933. Original. Hardcover. Clean, unmarked contents but with last few (4?) pages of index missing. Age toning to page margins. Covers worn (soiled, bumped, faded, and tearing at spine area); still tight text block.. Grey cloth/boards; black lettering and bands (not raised). LXVI with advertising illustrations, followed by 1270 pp. with no illustrations. Personal bookplate of James Hazen Hyde. The names and addresses of 40,000 properties of chateaux, manoirs, castels, villas, etc. of France, classified in both alphabetical and regional order. Text in French. "The son of Henry Baldwin Hyde, the founder of the Equitable Life Assurance Society, James Hazen Hyde was famous for his social and financial success and the dramatic scandal that caused his downfall. James inherited the billion-dollar company in 1899 at 23 years old, This was just one year after he graduated from Harvard, where he studied German and French and gained an appreciation for French fashion and culture. He was a known Francophile, styling his clothing and hair after Parisian trends, and sparing no expense for the pleasure. Hyde was a creature of the Gilded Age, and his excessive tastes exploded at his 1905 costume ball, made to look like the court of Louis XV. Hundreds of guests danced in a ballroom decorated floor-to-ceiling with flowers, and the dining room was made to look like a garden at Versailles. However, Equitable president James Waddell Alexander and various board members used this ball as an excuse to claim James was too frivolous to run a company. Rumor spread that he had billed the entire party to Equitable. The New York State Legislature intervened, resulting in laws that regulated relations between insurers and Wall Street. James's New York City reputation never recovered, and in December 1905 he sailed for Paris to live in self-exile. He returned to New York in 1941 and died in 1959. He was a founder of the Alliance Française in America, received the Grand Cross of the Legion of Honor from the French government, was a member of the Académie des Sciences Morales et Politiques and also a member of The New-York Historical Society.
(Inventory #: 153398)
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