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Susan Lawrence: The Enigma in the Wright House Paperback – August 3, 2011


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 116 pages
  • Publisher: Bookstand Publishing (August 3, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1589099605
  • ISBN-13: 978-1589099609
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 0.2 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #940,556 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Roberta Volkmann is an arts educator and freelance writer living in Springfield, Illinois. After more than 20 years of teaching, she served as arts educational consultant for the Illinois State Board of Education before retiring. In addition to writing and consulting, Roberta is a community volunteer whose primary interest is the Frank Lloyd Wright designed Dana-Thomas House, an Illinois State Historic Site. She trained as an interpreter of the House shortly after the State of Illinois bought it in 1981. She has volunteered there since that time. She is the editor of the Dana-Thomas House education resources that are found at http://www.illinoishistory.gov/
hs/dth.htm. Her other published works include travel stories featuring the arts, book reviews for Music Educator's Journal, and teacher's guides. She and her husband Carl (co-author of "Springfield's Sculptures, Monuments and Plaques") enjoy traveling and entertaining friends and family.


Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Myron Marty on October 4, 2011
Format: Paperback
Review of Susan Lawrence: The Enigma in the Wright House, by Roberta Volkmann

Susan Lawrence was an enigma during her lifetime (1862-1946) and she remains one today. Roberta Volkmann's impressive research and gifts as a storyteller, however, enable her to explore her subject's enigmatic features and introduce her readers to a truly fascinating person.

The fascination lies in Susan Lawrence's repeated remaking of herself. She began with many advantages, as she was the only child of a wealthy "intuitive entrepreneur and astute opportunist," as Volkmann portrays her father. His daughter displayed comparable characteristics, and she drew upon them in coping with considerable sadness. She and first husband, Edwin Dana, experienced joy with the birth of two babies, but joy turned to sadness when their offspring died in infancy. After seventeen years of marriage, Edwin was killed in a mining accident. Twelve years later, at age forty-nine, Susan married a twenty-six-year old singer; he died unexpectedly about sixteen months later. Her third marriage, in 1915 led to estrangement and eventually divorce.

But there was more to Susan Lawrence Dana's life than marriages. She was, as Volkmann recounts her activities, a traveler, a socialite, an extraordinary hostess, a community volunteer, a participant in political causes, a philanthropist, a spiritualist who communicated with her deceased father, a believer in astrology, a mystic, and a friend to many--some prominent, some ordinary folk.

One of her friends was Frank Lloyd Wright, and she commissioned him to remodel her father's home in Springfield.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Roberta Volkman has done her homework... For years. Great read for anyone interested in Susan Lawrence , Frank Lloyd Wright or the Dana Thomad house in Springfield , Il. Her book is loaded with facts. I reread it and always learn something new.
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By Paris fan on November 19, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Fascinating account of the life of the woman who commissioned Wright's "Gesamtkunstwerk" (complete work of art). The only thing that would have been a nice addition to the book is more information about Wright's building process of the house and the response of the Springfield (IL) community while the house was being built and once it was finished.
(I grew up in Springfield and have toured the house both before its restoration and after.)
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book gives insight to the personality and peculiarities of one of Frank Lloyd's most famous clients. With no regard to cost, the home was built and furnished in what has become known as the "open checkbook" style. Quick and easy read.
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