The romance of Madeleine Force and JohnJacob Astor

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Faith Baker

Guest
Hi! I'm Leah, and I'm hoping to start writing a book and screenplay about John Jacob Astor and his wife Madeline. I want it to be somewhat of a romance starting when they met, and ending shortly after the death of JJ on the Titanic. However, I don't know a whole lot about the Astors. Only a few short stories that have been told to me. Perhaps you could help me? Please just leave ANY (Even if it has nothing to do with There relationship together) information, and facts about the Astors that you know. I can and will use as much info as I can, so PLEASE help! I'm not sure what I'm gonna do with the book once were finished writing it, but I do hope to publish it someday. It isn't nessicarily gonna be all true, but I would like to use as many true facts as possible.
THANK YOU for your help!
 
Shelley Dziedzic

Shelley Dziedzic

Member
Faith- there is plenty right here already to get you started. Under TOPICS at the bottom of this page, go to Passenger Research and scroll that catagory for lots on Madeleine and JJ. The SEARCH option will also give you a jillion hits as well as the main page link that says 1st Class Passengers. Good luck with your play.
 
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Faith Baker

Guest
Thank you Shelley! I will definatly do that. But I'm also hoping to get some random fact here aswell. Just the little stuff that might be on peoples minds. Remember, I can use pretty much ANYTHING about them, and I probably will. If you know anything you would like to tell me, please post it here.
 
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Faith Baker

Guest
My friend Leah will also be writing here for me, since she will be helping me write my book. (She wrote our first post) We are both very interested in the Titanic, and always have been. Only recently did we discover that each of us has a talent for writing, and by combining it, we are hoping to publish our first book. Maybe not for a long time, but as long as we get started and have fun doing it, then it will work just fine. Thank you for your help!
 
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Marykate Viola

Guest
There's a lot of info on this site and also you could go to your local Barnes&Noble and see if they have any books on the Astors. Your screenplay sounds interesting, I'm also writing a book on the Titanic, only mine is historical fiction. Hope I helped and good luck with your play!!!
 
Michael H. Standart

Michael H. Standart

Member
Faith, I'm not trying to be a pest, but it would be better if Leah registered her own account so we can avoid any confusion as to who the members are responding to.

Good luck on your book project.
Wink
 
Dave Gittins

Dave Gittins

Member
A major book is The Astors by Derek Wilson, published in 1993. It gives a very full description of the kind of life the family led and a family tree. Our J J Astor was a rather minor member of the tribe, who were very big cheeses in the US and Britain.

J J Astor's science fiction story, A Journey in Other Worlds, is online at the Gutenberg Project.
 
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Wade Sisson

Member
An Astor tibdit that might be of interest. Beechwood Mansion, the house in Newport, R.I., where Madeleine Force wed John J. Astor in 1911, is home to the Victorian Living History Museum. The facility can also be rented for weddings, private parties, Victorian balls, etc. You could get married in the same room where the ill-fated Jack Astor-Madeleine Force union took place. Check out Beechwood Mansion's web site for details -- http://www.astorsbeechwood.com/Home.html.
Also, there's a great book, published in 2000, about society at the turn of the 20th Century that offers quite a few nuggets about the Astors. Preview the book online at http://www.newyorksocialdiary.com/archive/astor400.2.html.
 
Shelley Dziedzic

Shelley Dziedzic

Member
It is a fabulous book- also they do a Titanic-themed party with cast of characters in costume. JJ always appears- it is rather pricey however! Even the afternoon teas are a bit Gilded in price.
 
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Evgueni Mlodik

Member
So, just wandering, what's everyone's opinion on Madeleine Astor? Has the pop-culture stereo-type prevailed and the majority believe her to be a vivacious tragic figure, scorned by "polite society" for falling in love with a much older married man........ Or do you guys believe she was just a skanky Edwardian era progenitor of Anna Nicole Smith, marrying a man older than her father in order to secure a position as one of the richest women in America?

Let the debate begin! ;-)
 
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Kat Komorowski

Member
Well, I (obviously) can't speak for when she married J.J. as to whether or not she was truly only in it for the money, but if she was, she certainly seemed to find no use of it later.

Don't forget, in order to marry her second husband, William Dick, she had to give up her entire inheritance from J.J., a sum estimated around $5,000,000 - an astronomical figure in 1912 (and hardly a pittance now!). To me that doesn't exactly sound like a woman in it purely for the shinys, even if her new husband was fairly well-off anyways.

And besides, even if she was using J.J., I hardly consider him the innocent victim and her the conniving wh~~~. Any incredibly wealthy, middle-aged man who gets involved with a beautiful, poor, teenage girl certainly wouldn't suspect she's interested in his charm! Frankly, I say good for her if she was! I have more respect for a young woman growing up in poverty stricken times, where the majority of a woman's uses were in the bedroom or the kitchen, using her allure to pull herself out and to better things, than a rich, middle-aged man looking for a new, hot young thing.

And as for the 'baby-trap' comment, I think it has been well-established elsewhere that Madeleine was not pregnant before her and J.J. were wed, unless she has a ridiculously slow-forming uterus.

Anyways, that's my two-cents on the matter.

Best wishes,

Kat
 
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Evgueni Mlodik

Member
LOL, yeah, the baby-trap was a bit of an easy target for me...

But I agree, I never for once considered rich middle-aged men who marry supple teenage beauties to exactly be "victimized."
 
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Jim Kalafus

Member
>Don't forget, in order to marry her second husband, William Dick, she had to give up her entire inheritance from J.J., a sum estimated around $5,000,000

She had to give up the USE of his money, not what she acquired with it. A crucial difference. The Astor money was hers to use while she remained an Astor, but it wasn't hers to take with her when she left.

It seems that something is missing from the John and Madeleine story. Lots of high society people divorced and remarried~ witness Alva Vanderbilt Belmont; adulterous affairs were common in all stratas of society; creepy old men marrying young women was not an oddity~ witness the Titanic's own vomiting-on-her-honeymoon Mrs Bucknell; and ambitious young tramps honing in on the wealthy was not EXACTLY unknown. SO, why exactly the massive public rejection of J.J. and Madeleine? Yes, yes, I know the wheezy line in all the books about outraged public morals etc, but I also know that they ran in a set which HAD no public morals, and which was viewed by those in the other social classes as morally bankrupt. What detail has NOT been passed down?

>Any incredibly wealthy, middle-aged man who gets involved with a beautiful, poor, teenage girl certainly wouldn't suspect she's interested in his charm!

Sad thing is, they DO believe that. It's an ego thing. Which is why the eventual realization that she ISN'T is invariably crushing.

>money, but if she was, she certainly seemed to find no use of it later.

Well, she managed to live out her life in Palm Beach and NYC, travel, and snare and maintain a male bimbo only slightly older than her oldest child, so it not EXACTLY like she couldn't figure out what to do with it.
 
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Kat Komorowski

Member
>>She had to give up the USE of his money, not what she acquired with it. A crucial difference. The Astor money was hers to use while she remained an Astor, but it wasn't hers to take with her when she left.<<

It also required her giving up access to her/his home, and though she may have been able to take her things with her, the bulk majority of the money was still returned. And I doubt the Astors' would have allowed a $5,000,000 spending spree a week before her wedding, either.

>> >money, but if she was, she certainly seemed to find no use of it later.

Well, she managed to live out her life in Palm Beach and NYC, travel, and snare and maintain a male bimbo only slightly older than her oldest child, so it not EXACTLY like she couldn't figure out what to do with it.<<

But not on J.J.'s dime, which was my point. I never said she became a poor seamstress, but she did give up all the wealth (material things purchased aside) that she inherited from him. I doubt some old clothing would buy you a home in Palm Beach. That money was gained elsewhere - not from the Astor estate.
 
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Jim Kalafus

Member
>But not on J.J.'s dime,

We don't KNOW that. She had 4 years in which to...uhhh... diversify her portfolio. Any property she acquired on her own, any investments she made as The Widow Astor, any jewelry she bought would have fallen under the umbrella term of "J.J.'s dime."
 
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