The fascinating story of America’s premier historic house
George Vanderbilt’s "Gilded Age" Biltmore Estate, near Asheville, North Carolina, is the nation’s largest private residence. However, it was once a terrible financial drain–banker David Rockefeller called it a "white elephant"–and no one gave its future a chance. Lady on the Hill is the remarkable account of how Vanderbilt’s grandson, William A. V. Cecil, transformed the estate into an unparalleled example of private enterprise and historic preservation. This lively tale filled with upper-crust characters demonstrates how one man, in the face of considerable odds and using unconventional methods, achieved what everyone said could not be done, produced a profitable enterprise, and created the most visited historic house in America.
Howard E. Covington Jr. (Greensboro, NC), formerly an award-winning journalist, has been writing history and biography for nearly 20 years.