CISSY: A BIOGRAPHY OF ELEANOR PATTERSON by Alice Albright Hoge

CISSY: A BIOGRAPHY OF ELEANOR PATTERSON

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Once, at a party, Cissy lashed her incredible mother with a rope of pearls. She went on to belt Washington, D.C. society in the teeth with a lightly scandalous novel based on its affairs. Much later, every chance she got, she hit her girlhood chum, Alice Roosevelt Longworth over the head with a headline in her newspaper, The Washington Herald. In one of her finest editorial rages, she called Walter Winchell a cockroach in 64 pt. type. She was one of the Patterson/McCormick clan and their aristocratic approach to public eccentricity make them perfect subjects for lively biography. (See her cousin Col. Bertie's by Waldrop --1965, p. 1266.) Cissy, born in 1881, rejected the poor little rich girl image. She claimed she was a rich, slightly nasty, child who played her estranged parents off against each other. She married a Polish fortune hunting aristocrat in haste and hastily repented it. She flouted so many conventions it's hard to count them. Salty? She described her mother's Washington mansion as a horror, ""...with cupids stringing rosebuds all over the goddamned place."" William Randolph Hearst took a chance in letting her take over his losing capitol paper and he won by it. She later bought him out, editorialized against all her own sins -- drinking, smoking and barbiturates--and died a rich, slightly nasty, lonely old lady. She was a darned interesting neurotic.

Pub Date: Feb. 25th, 1966
Publisher: Random House