Not too long ago, I wrote a book review of a non-fiction work called THE WIDOW CLICQUOT in which I lamented the fact that the book had not been historical fiction. The author had sort of promised to dig into the life of a woman from history whose story was mostly unknown, but because it was non-fiction, she could only go so far. I was left disappointed. So now I can only stand up and cheer for New York Times bestselling author Susan Vreeland because she has done exactly what I wanted with the subject of her new book CLARA AND MR. TIFFANY.
Clara Driscoll was a woman whose story was almost lost to history. Though she was the designer responsible for the Tiffany lamps we are all so familiar with, she was never given proper credit because of the time she lived in. It was the early 1900’s in New York and though Clara did not receive credit in her day, she did write letters about her life to her mother, and those letters survived. Passed on to art historians from a distant relative, the letters finally came to light in 2007 when the New York Historical Society hosted an exhibit called A New Light on Tiffany: Clara Driscoll and the Tiffany Girls. It was then that the story caught the attention of author Susan Vreeland.
Susan and I had the chance to chat by phone about the book and we dug into where the facts stopped and the fiction began. I have to say you will be amazed by how much of the story is true and how many of the characters were real. We talked about the history of that time period and I got Susan to give a teensy hint about what she’s working on next.
I thoroughly enjoyed the book and my chat with Susan and hope you will too!
— Dana Barrett, Managing Editor