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October 10 • 7:00 pm


Program takes place on Zoom Webinar. A recording will be available at any time after the program. 

How did the Palm Beach hamlet so lacquered in grace and elegance come to find itself rooted in scandal? How did Palm Beach’s most famous manse become the chew toy for tabloid headline writers? Now, we have the unvarnished history of America’s most notorious palace. 

In American Castle, Pulitzer Prize finalist Mary C. Shanklin draws from previously untapped interviews, documents, and recordings to follow Mar-a-Lago’s evolution. Beginning as a residence of socialite heiress Marjorie Merriweather Post and financier E.F. Hutton it collides with the Kennedys, the state of Florida, a potential make-over as The Mar-a-Lago Center for Advanced Scholars, Lady Bird Johnson, Richard Nixon, the National Park Service, and—of course—Donald Trump. 

Virtual: Choose your own price for non-members. Free for members. REGISTER HERE.  

Copies of American Castle are available for purchase through the Mark Twain Store; proceeds benefit The Mark Twain House & Museum. Books will be shipped after the event. We regret that we are NOT able to ship books outside the United States as it is cost-prohibitive to do so. 


About the Author: Mary Shanklin teaches journalism at the University of Central Florida.  Her work has been published in USA Today, Architectural Record, Urban Land Institute, Chicago Tribune, Baltimore Sun, and Orlando Sentinel. The lifelong journalist has been recognized with awards from the Society of Professional Journalists, Gerald R. Loeb Awards, Investigative Reporters and Editors, Society of Black Journalists, Pulitzer (team entry), Knight- Ridder Foundation, Education Writers Association, Scripps Howard Foundation, and the National Association of Real Estate Editors. 

About the Moderator: Bill Shaffer is the author of The Scandalous Hamiltons: A Gilded Age Grifter, a Founding Father’s Disgraced Descendant and a Trial at the Dawn of Tabloid Journalism, published by Kensington Books, and Baranger Motion Displays: 55 Moving Scenes of Love, Courtship and Surrender, published by Vitra Design Museum. Shaffer has also been published on designobserver.com and Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum online. He holds an M.A., History of Design and Curatorial Studies from Parsons, The New School. 


Programs at The Mark Twain House & Museum are made possible in part by support from CT Humanities; the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development, Office of the Arts; Ensworth Charitable Foundation, Bank of America, N.A., Trustee; the Greater Hartford Arts Council’s United Arts Campaign; The Hartford; The Mark Twain Foundation; The National Endowment for the Humanities; and Travelers. 



October 10
7:00 pm
Event Category:


The Mark Twain House & Museum
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