Author & Scholar of Badass Women of The Gilded Age




Press for Sargent's Women:  

“A rollicking snow globe version of an almost unimaginable world of wealth … Lucey is a persistent detective and a bemused, sometimes amused, storyteller, attentive to interesting, hilarious, disturbing detail.”

“[Isabella Stewart Gardner] comes across as … a riotous mix of Bette Midler and Dame Maggie Smith’s upper-crust characters.”


• • •

“Donna Lucey’s lyrical meditation on life, love, and art in the Gilded Age … Sargent’s Women abounds with dazzling characters in atmospheric settings. Yet because it lacks a natural arc … its success owes entirely to the skills of the author [a] dogged sleuth, a confident stylist and a clever narrative architect. … As rich as these portraits are, the textual evidence in which Ms. Lucey ensnares them is finer still."


• • •

“[Lucey] delivers the goods, disclosing the unhappy or colorful lives that Sargent sometimes hinted at but didn’t spell out … [B]ehind the illusions of breezy confidence that Sargent created, struggles and losses sometimes prevailed.”


• • •


Hasty Book List: Review and interview

Virginia Living: Profile of Donna Lucey and her husband

Times Literary Supplement: Bawdry in the bloodstream  (

The Times (London): Book review: Sargent’s Women: Four Lives Behind the Canvas by Donna M Lucey (

ELLE: Who Were Sargent's Women?: Author Donna Lucey on the stories behind these iconic American faces. (

The Washington Post: Who are the real women behind John Singer Sargent’s portraits? (

Kirkus Reviews: Perceptive biographies of a quartet of Gilded Age women (

Publisher’s Weekly: Review (

Booklist Online: Review (

The Weekly Standard (London): Water and Light (

With Good Reason: Radio Interview with Donna Lucey (

Library Journal: Audiobook Review (

Lit Lovers: Reader’s Guide (

The Bay Area Reporter: John Singer Sargent's Painted Ladies  (

Antiques and The Arts Weekly: Review (