Archie and Amélie:
Love and Madness in The Gilded Age
"An irresistible account … of a combustible couple's torrid descent amid opulence."
—Janet Maslin, New York Times
"Thanks to the vividness of its subject matter and the lucidity of its style, [Archie and Amélie] engages its readers in the initially charming and ultimately harrowing tale of the marriage between two self-willed and self-absorbed thoroughbreds."
—Francine Prose, Washington Post
“Enchanting . . . An engrossing story told vividly and accurately. Lucey has given us an artistically composed and exhaustively researched story of the tragic marriage of two brilliant and spirited denizens of the Gilded Age whose lives, despite every gift the gods could shower upon them in fortune and talent, were reduced to ashes by drugs and madness."
"As compelling as a smoldering historical novel … Passion, marriage, and scandal … all against a glittery backdrop of New York mansions, Boston town houses, and Parisian hotels."
"Sex, scandal, and mental illness in the Gilded age … Amélie comes across as the female variation of F. Scott Fitzgerald with a touch of Madonna."
"This tale of unequal love, fortune hunting, madness, and morphine will keep [readers] simultaneously amused, appalled, and addicted."
Filled with glamour, mystery, and madness, Archie and Amélie is the true story chronicling a tumultuous love affair in the Gilded Age.
John Armstrong "Archie" Chanler was an heir to the Astor fortune, an eccentric, dashing, and handsome millionaire. Amélie Rives, Southern belle and the goddaughter of Robert E. Lee, was a daring author, a stunning temptress, and a woman ahead of her time.
Archie and Amélie seemed made for each other—both were passionate, intense, and driven by emotion—but the very things that brought them together would soon tear them apart. Their marriage began with a “secret” wedding that found its way onto the front page of the New York Times, to the dismay of Archie’s relatives and Amélie’s many gentleman friends. To the world, the couple appeared charmed, rich, and famous; they moved in social circles that included Oscar Wilde, Teddy Roosevelt, and Stanford White. But although their love was undeniable, they tormented each other, and their private life was troubled from the start.
They were the F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald of their day—a celebrated couple too dramatic and unconventional to last—but their tumultuous story has largely been forgotten. Now, Donna M. Lucey vividly brings to life these extraordinary lovers and their sweeping, tragic romance.