The Verdendorps: A Novel 1880 Scarce ~ Expose of Robber Baron Vanderbilt Family ~ pseud. Basil Verdendorp ~ Cornelius Vanderbilt


Title: The Verdendorps: A Novel

Author: Basil Verdendorp [pseud.]

Description: Green cloth board with gilt stamped spine; covers ruled in blind. Corners pushed; shelf-side of corners exposed; cloth shows some minor soiling. Owner's private library label and pencil inscription on front endpapers. Light soiling on a few pages. 376 pages. [American Fiction 1876-1900: 5672].

A thinly veiled, questionably libelous satire/fictionalized expose of one of America's robber baron families, the Vanderbilts. It is speculated that the author may have been a family tutor, writing under a pseudonym, from the perspective of Cornelius Jeremiah ''Corneel'' Vanderbilt. The second half is based in part on the legal battle which ensued between Corneel and his brother William over the will of their father, ''Commodore'' Cornelius Vanderbilt, following his death in 1877.

Reviewed in the May 5, 1880 Springfield Republican: ''The Vanderbilt will case, in all its nauseousness, is spread out... old Vanderbilt and his successor, the second wife with her peculiar relations to the son, Rev. Dr. Deems, the lawyers and judges--all the hideous corruption of social and family life, the base subservience of the courts, religion, and even journalism, are depicted with rude literalness.''

Some well known American writers are also introduced pseudonymously, including Louisa May Alcott (''the Concord Dotard''), Henry James, and Richard Grant Wright (''Richard Empiricus'').

Binding: Hardcover
Condition: Very Good
Jacket Condition: None

Publisher: Charles M. Hertig
Place: Chicago
Year: 1880

Keywords: Vanderbilt, Vanderbilt family, robber baron,

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