Citation
Ladies of the Brown: A Women’s History of Denver’s Most Elegant Hotel

Material Information

Title:
Ladies of the Brown: A Women’s History of Denver’s Most Elegant Hotel
Series Title:
Ladies of the Brown: A Women’s History of Denver’s Most Elegant Hotel
Creator:
Kreck, Dick
Place of Publication:
Denver, CO
Publisher:
Center for Colorado and the West
Publication Date:
Language:
English

Record Information

Source Institution:
Auraria Library
Holding Location:
Auraria Library
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.

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Ladies of the Brown: A Womens History of Denvers Most Elegant Hotel | Center for Colorado & the West at Auraria Library http://coloradowest.staging.auraria.edu/book-review/ladies-brown-womens-history-denvers-most-elegant-hotel[12/8/2015 12:33:09 PM] Home Ladies of the Brown: A Womens History of Denvers Most Elegant HotelLadies of the Brown: A Womens History of Denvers Most Elegant HotelSubmitted by jainlayconley on 12-20-2010 05:19 PMAuthor: Debra B. Faulkner Publishing: Charleston, SC: The History Press, 2010. Black and white photos, index, timeline. 6 x 9. 148 pages. $19.99 paperback. Reviewer: Dick Kreck Powerful businessmen and politicians have made the Brown Palace Hotel their work and play ground for more than one hundred years. But what of the women who accompanied and entertained them and are largely overlooked by historians? Debra Faulkner has taken a huge step in correcting the oversight with her wellwritten, witty, and meticulously researched Ladies of the Brown: A Womens History of Denvers Most Elegant Hotel. Faulkner, tour guide, archivist, and historian for the hotel, deftly blends the Browns storied past with tales of women whose lives have been a part of that history. To her credit, she even includes some of the women who labored to make guests stays more pleasant. Faulkner rightly points out, From the moment it opened in 1892 the Browns elegance and ambiance have drawn ladies who appreciate finer things(11). Its just that nobody paid much attention. Those looking for a tell-all tale of the back of the house will be disappointed. She gives her employer plenty of positive strokes with words like impeccable, incomparable, and top-drawer, but the hotels darkest secrets remain secret. She does, however, lay to rest the oft-told tale of a tunnel used by gentleman guests who allegedly scurried under Tremont Place to a brothel. To be sure, there are accounts of some of the ladies who didnt always act ladylike. The ones we love to read about. There was Isabel Patterson SpringerSassy to her friendswhose 1911 dalliances with two men outside her marriage to prominent Denver businessman and noted horseman John Springer wound up in a barroom murder in the hotel and a sensational front-page scandal. Queen Marie of Romania toured the United States by ten-car private train in 1926 and spent two days at the hotel. Millions saw her tour but she gave special attention to author and former Denver Post reporter Gene Fowler, who traveled with the lusty and liberal-minded Marie, fifty-one years old at the time. Extra space is given to Louise Hill, the arbiter of Denvers society scene at the turn of the twentieth century. It was she who established the Sacred Thirty-six, the citys leading society lights. She also carried on a long-term and very public affair with architect Bulkeley Wells, a much younger married man and father of four. Dozens of women and their experiences with the hotel are profiled, including Margaret Molly Brown, Emily EXPLORE BY MEDIABook Reviews Photographs Video Biographies New Publications Resource Guides County Newspaper HistoriesEXPLORE BY TOPICLand & Natural Resources Government & Law Agriculture Mining Commerce & Industry Transportation People & Places Communication Healthcare & Medicine Education & Libraries Cultural Communities Recreation & Entertainment Tourism ReligionEXPLORE BY CULTUREHispanic Native AmericanNow, thats wrong! Some of these Japanese are citizens of the United States. Colorado Gov. Ralph Carrs response to Executive Order 9066 forcing Japanese into internment camps during WWII.

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Ladies of the Brown: A Womens History of Denvers Most Elegant Hotel | Center for Colorado & the West at Auraria Library http://coloradowest.staging.auraria.edu/book-review/ladies-brown-womens-history-denvers-most-elegant-hotel[12/8/2015 12:33:09 PM] Auraria Library 303-556-4587 1100 Lawrence Street Denver, Colorado 80204 In the News Partners & Donations About Us Contact Us Griffith, Edna Boettcher, Sarah Bernhardt, Mamie Eisenhower, Marilyn van Derbur, and Hillary Rodham Clinton. Faulkner also gives a well-deserved nod to those whose names went unknown to the general public, including elevator pilots, housekeepers, stenographers, and nurses. The ones who made it all work. And she doesnt forget Corinne Hunt, a predecessor as hotel historian who rescued the Browns archives from disarray. Splendid archival photos, many previously unpublished, of turn-of-the-century ladies in big hats at banquets and afternoon teas enhance the story. Reproduction is not always the best but, given the primitive state of some of the originals, understandable. A bonus is a section at the back of the book of Brown Palace recipes, including those for sconces, doublechocolate brownies, and Imperial Punch, served it is said, as a palate cleaner in the middle of multicourse 1890s dinners. Given that it contains Chambord, rum, melon liqueur, grenadine and three kinds of juices, it was probably capable of clearing more than ones palate. Ladies fills a lamentable gap in the history of the hotel and of the city. As Faulkner notes, The Brown Palace remains the repository of memories for countless women. Both personal and public histories continue to unfold within the hotels walls(138). Reviewer Info: Dick Kreck, a former columnist for The Denver Post, is the author of five books on Colorado history, including Murder at the Brown Palace and Smaldone. Add new comment