Janny Scott {free} The Beneficiary

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Randfather on Philadelphia's Main Line There was an obligation to protect it a license to enjoy it a duty to pass it on but it was impossible to know in advance how all that extraordinary good fortune might influence the choices made over a lifetimeIn this warmly felt tale of an American family's fortunes journalist Janny Scott excavates the rarefied world that shaped her charming unknowable father Robert Montgomery Scott and provides an incisive look at the weight of inheritance the tenacity of addiction and the power of buried secretsSome beneficiaries flourished like Scott's g. I really wanted to like this book but really really didn t Too many people from too many generations and the author hops from one to another before skipping back two generations or forward three I needed a family tree But everything is listed the wardrobe the food at a meal the books in the library I just didn t care and still don t Wouldn t recommend

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The Beneficiary

Randmother Helen Hope Scott a socialite and celebrated horsewoman said to have inspired Katherine Hepburn's character in the play and Academy Award winning film The Philadelphia Story For others including the author's father she concludes the impact was complexBringing her journalistic talents light touch and crystalline prose to this powerful story of a child's search to understand a parent's puzzling end Scott also raises uestions about our new Gilded Age New fortunes are being amassed new estates are being born Does anyone wonder how it will all play out one hundred years henc. Here s an interesting biography of Robert Montgomery Scott written by his daughter Janny Scott It s actually a family history spanning four generations of a wealthy family that settled on what s called the Main Line outside of Philadelphia In the early 1900s Janny Scott s great grandfather acuired over 800 acres of rolling land in Radnor Pennsylvania named it Ardrossan and built a stone mansion plus many other luxurious homes farm buildings and cottages to house his family and the people who worked for him Most of the first three generations lived in various homes on Ardrossan including cousins and sometimes less than enthusiastic in lawsLocals will recognize the family names and their roles in business and law especially the financial services firm Janney Montgomery Scott Robert Montgomery Scott was also a longtime president of the Philadelphia Museum and the family had a strong presence in business and among the wealthyA playwright named Philip Barry met Janny Scott s grandfather at Harvard and wrote The Philadelphia Story The Broadway play was produced in 1939 and starred Katherine Hepburn Her character was based on Edgar Scott s wife Helen Hope Montgomery The movie of the same name hit the theaters in 1940 and starred Hepburn Cary Grant and Jimmy StewartAlthough united by wealth there were plenty of divisions and a great deal of power struggles plus a debilitating history of alcoholism in the family Robert Montgomery Scott who died in 2005 was a charmer and a schmoozer but his later years were marked by this diseaseJanny Scott wrote this book in order to know her father a little better A prolific writer he left a lifetime of personal journals to her which were both painful and insightful to readI enjoyed this biography because of its local interest and also because I like reading about mansions and their history What strikes me most is how stunted many of these family members were and also how out of touch they were with the rest of the world Interestingly the author s generation branched out and became independent in their lives and careersI recommend The Beneficiary to readers who like biographies and studies of family history

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A NEW YORK TIMES NOTABLE BOOK OF THE YEAR A poignant addition to the literature of moneyed glamour and its inevitable tarnish and decaylike something out of Fitzgerald or Waugh The New YorkerA parable for the new age of ineuality part family history part detective story part history of a vanishing class and a vividly compelling exploration of the degree to which an inheritance financial cultural genetic conspired in one person's self destructionLand houses and money tumbled from one generation to the next on the eight hundred acre estate built by Scott's investment banker great g. I enjoyed the style in which this was written kind of felt to me like a well written historical novel but it s non fiction instead It starts out with a family tree showing the major players the patriarch the Colonel who started the grand estate named Ardrossan with 800 acres back in the day down to the present day narrator who is an offspring It tells about major people down through the years but is about the author s father It shares how he d gotten rich almost overnight during the Panic of 1907 when he started buying up small businesses His family felt he d cut his life short through choices he d made in the way he did things Author Janny Scott just seriously felt that her father could have made different choices and lived a good deal longer thus being around for his family It s an intriguing look into this family of privilege during the end of a bygone era My thanks for the advance electronic review copy that was provided by Edelweiss author Janny Scott and the publisherAlso in my BookZone blog

10 thoughts on “The Beneficiary

  1. says:

    I enjoyed the style in which this was written kind of felt to me like a well written historical novel but it’s non fiction instead It starts

  2. says:

    New York Times reporter Janny Scott grew up not understanding that the 800 acre family pile on the Philadelphia Main Line was extraordinary Her grandmother –– the inspiration for Katherine Hepburn's character in the Philadelphi

  3. says:

    Oy What a numbing catalog of wealth and power Reading this was like being caught in a relentless avalanche of famous names I suppose Janny Scott in writing this monument to her family's historyhoped to extend its glamor for one generation but really who but she cares about these long dead debs and their boozy beaux? She compares her grandmother to Eloise of the Plaza sorry Janny your granny hadn't an ounce of Kay Thompson's style creativ

  4. says:

    I will read any book about the Kennedys and similarly any book about a well known Gilded Age type family Scott's memoir is beautifully written and because she's a journalist first and foremost it has a certain feel to it not found in similar works but it's subtle not constantly announcing itself as this is a piece of jou

  5. says:

    I really wanted to like this book but really really didn’t Too many people from too many generations and the author hops

  6. says:

    Actual rating 25 starsEnjoyed this for the Main Line history but felt the story could have been condensed considerably

  7. says:

    Were your parents happy when you were growing up? If you find when you're an adult that there is evidence lots of it to support a decidedly non affirmative answer to the uestion how do you accept it and move on? That's Janny Scott's uest in this gutsy remarkable memoirScott sets out to understand why her father drank himself to death It so

  8. says:

    We hear a lot these days about “the 1%” those Americans who are wealthier than 99% of the nation’s population Janny Scott a New York Times reporter who has also written a biography of Barack Obama’s mother knows about this group from the inside because she grew up in a family that was definitely part of the 1% the Montgomery

  9. says:

    Here’s an interesting biography of Robert Montgomery Scott written by his daughter Janny Scott It’s actually a family history spanning four generations of a wealthy family that settled on what’s called the

  10. says:

    Second half about her dad better than the first half about the ancestors although I get that she feels it's all