Friday, August 22, 2014

Sunday, August 17, 2014

THE BOUVIERS by JOHN H. DAVIS OFFERS A SMALL ELOQUENT EXPLAINATION : MISSY'S BOOK REVIEW


MISTRESS MANIFESTO / MISSY RAPPORT BOOK REVIEW

I read this old book thoroughly.  I was impressed the smoothness of the writing, the choice of words, and the upper class eloquence of it! 

John H. Davis was Jackie Kennedy Onassis' and Big Edie Beale's cousin.  With them he attended family get-togethers and vacations at the East Hampton estate called Lasata, owned by the last Bouvier to have any real money, their grandfather.  That money was based on early America and the earnings of generations before.  When he died the family fortune had been spent down so that the house had to be sold.  Inheritances could not sustain the grandchildren any more though I could argue that the money they did get would have been considered substantial if they were common people.

Davis isn't an apologist for the family but he does put things rather pleasantly, for instance stating that Big Edie chose her "seclusion."  He busts through the family mythology that their grandfather spun and that they all grew up believing; The Bouviers were not as members of the French nobility yet their rise was fast and enduring.  It's too bad this falsehood about nobility empowered so much of their sense of family for the truth is also respectable and impressive.  How many French village cabinetmakers who came to live in Philadelphia ended up wealthy in the early Americas?  Among the White House treasures is a piece of furniture made by Michal Bouvier, the founder of the American family! 

It's said that Jackie never spoke to her cousin again after this book was published. What upset her so?  He spends a lot of time about the ancestors including the nun who became Beatified by the Vatican and had little to say about her and Jack's relationship, only in the family pride of her achievement to be First Lady and the debacle of the two sides of the family attending the Inauguration.  (Apparently the Kennedys and the Bouviers found little in common and Jackie didn't even come down to say hello as they sat waiting.)

But on to the subject of this month's Mistress, Little Edie Beale.

Davis explains that Big Edie's mother, Maude Sargeant, was so approving and supportive of her children that she did not give her or her brother, "Black Jack" (Jackie's father) a sense that they could ever be wrong.  When she died they were both rather lost.  He presents Big Edie as overly theatrical and operatic in her attention seeking for the tastes of her conservative father or, eventually, Phelan Beale, the man she married, and in need of daily conversations on the phone with Maude. 

Simply Davis says that after the Bouvier inheritances were diminished Big Edie didn't have enough from her divorce and the Bouviers to keep their house. The family members each went their own way without summers and special holidays at the house in East Hampton to remind them they were relatives.  In other words, the sense of family that they once had when grandfather was alive and they met up in East Hampton were over, they were all fending for themselves, some better than others.  No excuse is offered for why Little Edie's brothers or other relatives were not involved sooner or had to be embarrassed by The National Enquirer to activate on Big and Little Edie's welfare. 

The Bouviers
From Waterloo to the Kennedys and Beyond
by John, H, Davis C 1993
National Press Books publisher

C 2014 Missy Rapport/ Mistress Manifesto BlogSpot.com

All rights reserved including International and Internet Rights

Friday, August 15, 2014

GREY GARDENS ORIGINAL DOCUMENTARY TRAILOR (1975) THE MAYSLES BROTHERS

The entire film may be on YouTube. I got it on CD. There is a second documentary by the same film makers. There is a film staring Jessica Lange as Big Edie and Drew Barrymore as Little Edie, there's a television show, there's a Broadway Musical...



BEAUTIFUL DEB WANTS TO BE AN AUTHOR... and her cousin JACKIE became an EDITOR OF LITERTURE.

MAYSLES FILMS OFFICIAL SITE

On the internet a number of reports about the pay the ladies received conflict.  Some day they were told they would get $5000 each but it was never paid.  Some say they got $5000 each but not film percentages.  While the film is now a "cult classic" I'm not sure that when it came out in 1975/6 it had much audience.



Wednesday, August 13, 2014

EDITH "LITTLE EDIE" BEALE ON MARRIED MEN

"I've sworn off bachelors.  They're boring, inconsiderate, pig-headed, stubborn, spoiled mama's boys who think they have a premium on women, which unfortunately they have - there being so many of us girls around.  But one has got to make the most in a difficult situation and that's why women in desperation have turned to married men.  Married men are generous and discreet.  They don't make a fuss, they don't stick around, and they let you have a career if you want one."

Edith Bouvier Beale in the 1940's

Monday, August 11, 2014

LITTLE EDIE'S FASHIONABLE NYC ADDRESS : THE BARBIZON HOTEL FOR WOMEN

140 East 63rd Street, New York, New York
 
1927 PHOTO OF THE 23 STORY BARBIZON HOTEL FOR WOMEN
A FASHIONABLE ADDRESS
from THE LIBRARY OF CONGRESS

THE ROARING TWENTIES were raging female liberation as this building, designed by Palmer H. Ogden, was built.  The style was considered to be part Italian Renaissance, part Gothic, even part Islamic. 

When Little Edie went to New York to live as a young graduate of Miss Porter's School, she was conforming to Society's desire that young women in the city be protected from sweet-talking strange men physically and preserve their reputations as chaste.  Young women who applied to live at the hotel had to have three letters of reference!  You couldn't just walk in.  Parents could request that their daughters be given chaperons.  Men were allowed only in the lobby.  If a woman wanted to have an affair with a man, she had to sneak around and meet him elsewhere.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

DECLARATION FOR MISTRESSES : CAREER AS A PRIORITY

"My first priority is education and the development of my career, for only the  privileged and lucky are supported from birth to death by someone else.  Most women spend a lot of time single or as single mothers!  How great it is to have it all!  How few do!"

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Monday, August 4, 2014

LITTLE EDIE'S DIARY WRITTEN 1929 WHEN SHE WAS TWELVE : WEARING A LONG SCARF EVEN THEN

 
When she was a little older her mother pulled her out of school
in New York City and kept her home for a couple years.
It is not known if this was a financial decision,
as her father was having difficulties, or about her
parent's divorce or if she really was ill.
Could it be that Big Edie
wanted Little Edie to
take care of her
even then?