The Five of Hearts

Patricia O'Toole, Author
Patricia O'Toole, Author Clarkson N Potter Publishers $25 (0p) ISBN 978-0-517-56350-2
Reviewed on: 05/01/1990
Release date: 05/01/1990
The exclusive fivesome who regularly met for tea in Washington, D.C., in the early 1880s were historian Henry Adams, diplomat John Hay, their wives--restless, resentful Clover Adams and placid Clara Hay--and geologist-adventurer Clarence King, ``the ideal American they all wanted to be.'' Their lives before and after Clover committed suicide in 1885 are the subject of this vivid composite biography by a columnist for Lear's magazine. Passing through these brightly lit pages, as they did in the Hay and Adams houses in Lafayette Square, are their neighbor Lizzie Cameron (with whom Adams fell in love), Mark Twain, William Dean Howells, Henry James, Edith Wharton, John LaFarge, Augustus St. Gaudens, Teddy Roosevelt, Henry Cabot Lodge and other opinion-makers of the Gilded Age. The ``extraordinary flower of their friendship'' bloomed until the spring day in 1918 when Adams's body was put to rest beside that of Clover in Washington's Rock Creek Church Cemetery. Photos. (Apr.)
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