ADDLE WAS A LADY by John Wiley


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The titled ""Lady"" was Mr. Wiley's maternal grandmother, Addie Waterbury. Wiley begins the memoir at the time that Grandmother Addie attained her greatest ambition -- ""She became a widow"". Freed from the crumping, demanding, loud-talking, ash-dropping nuisance of male habitation she could more easily ply her trade. In a stronghold of ""entrenched, inherited wealth"" Stamford, Connecticut she practised management. Addie managed all those around her. The book deals primarily with the way in which she made the match between John Wiley's shy, dominated mother Mabel and his lean, agile, philandering father Burt. Old Mrs. Waterbury was one of the last of a species happily on the wane. Her lady- like lemeans, feigned fragility and intuitive shrewdness constituted a kind of well-bred no less rank because things worked out.. . .Mr. Wiley has given his publishers no incielve answer as to whether this book in fiction or non-fiction. It gets by as non-fiction, however, and fares far better when read as such. The author's wry way with a story could have been put to better use.

Publisher: St. Martin's Press