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Bonfire of the Vanderbilts Paperback – August 25, 2015
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
"I must say, I am impressed with your sleuthing, your imagination and your ability to weave a story. Your theory is fascinating, and I personally would be quite excited if any piece of it proved true." -- Carson Joyner Clark, biographer of painter Julius Stewart
"Alva Vanderbilt Belmont would be very grateful to you for researching a Vanderbilt family painting - as will all the family. And as I do. Historians keep us alive!" -- Margaret Hayden Rector, Vanderbilt biographer, author of Alva, That Vanderbilt-Belmont Woman
"Of the many inquiries we get, this has been the most interesting in a long time." -- The Very Rev. Harry E. Krauss (retired)
"I think you've done an extraordinary job of researching and speculating on the painting. You've certainly convinced me that this was a Vanderbilt affair!" -- Mary Sudman Donovan, Historian, Episcopal Church USA, Author of A Different Call: Women's Ministries in the Episcopal Church, 1850-1920
I first saw The Baptism at LACMA - almost twenty years ago. The mother in the painting looks sickly, as if she's dying. Will she live to see her baby grow up? It's not surprising that people think about it for days afterward. In my case, the research took years. So even though this is a work of fiction, I believe I've discovered more about this painting than anyone else has so far. There's still more to learn, but the museum has put the painting in long-term storage pending construction of the new campus. But as of December 2015, it's back on display...GEJ
From the Author
Since this book was released, my whitepaper, "Deconstructing the Scandalous Narrative of The Baptism" was featured in the Fall 2016 issue of the prestigious Journal of Art Crime. Readers are curious (as am I), and art curators are not telling, what will happen next in the real-world mystery behind this painting.
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Top customer reviews
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At the same time, a good novel comes down to a good story. "Bonfire of the Vanderbilts" is a great story! I highly recommend this book to anyone who likes their contemporary drama flavored with historical intrigue.
Generations have questioned the meaning of the painting THE BAPTISM by Julius Stewart so plan on joining the ranks...it's that intriguing.
A mystery within a mystery with a setting that goes between the present day and the late 1800's. It's not a book you can fly through,there is a lot to absorb so take your time..the author keeps the reader immensely interested so no sweat.
( i actually loved how the author inserted his own character in the writing by the way )
Interestingly, the L.A. County Museum of Art (LACMA) acquired the “The Baptism,” and after a period of exhibiting it is now archived. (You can view the painting online The Baptism LACMA Collections (collections.Lacma.org/node244009 )
Fiction and facts are truly well blended in this art history novel. The author has done extensive research, in fact, so much so that at times we get lost in the number of important characters mentioned in the story. A surprising and amusing moment in the book is to find the author, Jones himself, as one of the characters. If you love art history, wrapped into an intriguing, fast moving, complex tale, this book is for you.