Truly Fine Series

I’m a huge reader of biographies. I’m constantly picking up books on women I know nothing about – how did I get through an entire transcendentalist literature degree and not know about Elizabeth Peabody? Well, never mind; I’m reading her biography.

And often, biographies (and fiction) have little loopholes or bridges to other important people. A Dominic Dunne paperback leads to Ann Woodward; Ann leads to Slim Keith; Slim Keith leads to the Duchess of Windsor; the Duchess leads to Diana Vreeland; and on, and on.

And then I’ll become truly interested in one woman who was a sideline player in another biography, and I’ll begin amassing information on her. And off we go.

Often times, there’s not a lot of mainstream information on these women. I’ll go by for years, collecting scraps and books about Diana Vreeland for example, and then WHAM, one day New York Magazine does a several-page spread about her life. And I’m sitting there on the couch, going, “I’ll be go-to-hell – it’s Diana Vreeland,” and Jack will say, “Who?” and I’ll say, “She was…” and then launch off into a long explanation of why Diana Vreeland might be important.

So I’ve decided to collect the women I’m fascinated with here, to share with you. I’m going to call it the Truly Fine Series, after the way my mother always used fine not to mean simply passable, but truly wonderful and lovely.

And I’m not going to start with old American high-society (there’ll be plenty of that later), but with the Queen of Jordan. And here you are.

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