By William R. Drennan
in accordance with the scandal generated via his open affair with the proto-feminist and unfastened love recommend Mamah Borthwick Cheney, Wright had began to construct Taliesin as a safe haven and "love cottage" for himself and his mistress (both married on the time to others).
Conceived because the apotheosis of Wright’s prairie apartment kind, the unique Taliesin could stand in all its remoted glory for just a few months ahead of the bloody slayings that rocked the kingdom and diminished the constitution itself to a smoking hull.
offering either a gripping secret tale and an authoritative portrait of the artist as a tender guy, Drennan wades during the myths surrounding Wright and the bloodbath, casting clean gentle at the formula of Wright’s architectural ideology and the cataclysmic results that the Taliesin murders exerted at the fabled architect and on his next designs.
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Extra info for Death in a Prairie House: Frank Lloyd Wright and the Taliesin Murders
More fundamentally, they shared a maddeningly cavalier attitude toward money and the practical aspects of life that was coupled (often helpfully) with an easy, winning charm. William was in debt most of his days and much preferred buying violins to supplying clothes or beefsteaks for his family; still, his parishioners could not help but cherish him. Similarly, Frank spent a lifetime either avoiding creditors or charming them into capitulation. For example, he once owed his Sauk County neighbor Ed Kraemer a sizeable sum for delivered limestone, and Kraemer confronted him over the matter on the street.
Anna, conversely, was routinely supportive of her son. Still, it seems hard to account for Frank’s passionate championing of his mother’s cause. He must have been aware of her mistreatment of Permelia’s children, for example, or of the various calculated cruelties she had visited upon William himself over the years. Nor could it have been lost on him that his mother ﬂatly lied about her marriage’s failure. For one thing, she falsely represented herself, not William, as having been the plaintiff in the divorce action.
But no more than that; and when the end ﬁnally came, it was dreadful. Having broken with Sullivan in 1893, husband Frank immediately set up shop in the Schiller Building on Randolph Street in Chicago 30 Prelude to Murder with long-time friends Cecil Corwin and Robert C. Spencer Jr. The degree of collaboration among them is uncertain, however: Wright brought his work home, doing his actual drafting at Oak Park in the warm (if increasingly disruptive) familial glow of pretty Catherine and their ever-increasing number of offspring.