“Brooke Russell Astor was not in fact the last Mrs. Astor.” Frances Kiernan, The Last Mrs. Astor: A New York Story.

“It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen.” George Orwell, 1984.

“The summer after I graduated from high school I discovered that art wasn’t merely a way to fill a blank wall.” Dianne L. Durante, Outdoor Monuments of Manhattan: A Historical Guide.

“The village headman, a man of about fifty, sat cross-legged in the centre of the room, close to the coals burning in a hearth that was hollowed out of the floor; he was inspecting my violin.” Dai Sijie, Balzac and The Little Chinese Seamstress.

“After a late dinner in their Manhattan hideaway on a star-kissed night in the autumn of 1928, Mayor James J. Walker and his showgirl mistress, Betty Compton, motored to Westchester in his chauffeured, silver-trimmed Duesenberg to hear Vincent Lopez’s orchestra play dance tunes at Joe Pani’s Woodmansten Inn.” Herbert Mitgang, Once Upon a Time in New York: Jimmy Walker, Franklin Roosevelt, and the Last Great Battle of the Jazz Age.

“The evening his master died he worked again well after he ended the day for the other adults, his own wife among them, and sent them back with hunger and tiredness to their cabins.” Edward P. Jones, The Known World.

“On October 15, 1948, three weeks before election day and in the midst of the political fight of his life, President Harry S. Truman spent the evening attending a Masonic lodge meeting in Beech Grove, Indiana.” Mark A. Tabbert, American Freemasons: Three Centuries of Building Communities.

“About thirty years ago, Miss Maria Ward of Huntingdon, with only seven thousand pounds, had the good luck to captivate Sir Thomas Bertram, of Mansfield Park, in the county of Northampton, and to be thereby raised to the rank of baronet’s lady, with all the comforts and consequences of an handsome house and large income.” Jane Austen, Mansfield Park.

“Good bread is the most fundamentally satisfying of all foods; and good bread with fresh butter, the greatest of all feasts.” James Beard, Beard on Bread.

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