317–ch 17

Edith Wharton’s Age of Innocence, chapter 17, with many thanks to our reader, Brenda Dayne.

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Literary Links of interest for this chapter:

  • Cool St Augustine facts!
  • Polonaise
  • Pharisee update
  • Ulster Coat
  • Susan said about St Augustine:

    This evening as I was going to a class at Flagler College I was listening to the episode where St Augustine is first mentioned. The College is in the old Hotel Ponce de Leon, built by industrialist Henry Flagler in the 1880’s. It was designed by Carrere and Hastings, who also built the NYC Public Library. The college is celebrating the 125th anniversary of the building this year. For a time it was the nicest hotel in the world, with many original Tiffany windows (that are still there), beautiful architecture and even electricity with wiring put in by Edison. It was The Place to go in winter. It’s a pretty amazing building. There is a student run tour twice a day, and it’s very popular. It was definitely for the upper classes only. Flagler built another hotel across the street, but it was not quite as nice although It did have a casino and the world’s largest indoor swimming pool.
    The Hotel is built on land my ancestors farmed in the 18th century. Later, one of my great great grandfathers was a hunting and fishing guide for Henry Flagler and his guests. Hmm, I probably should have read this book a while back, huh? (Heather’s Note: I love these brushes with greatness we get! More proof y’all are the best!)
    Later, Flagler moved further south, building the railroad that ended in Key West. After he died he was buried in the mausoleum of a church he built here, right near the hotel. In fact, I parked in front of it tonight! His first wife, as well as his daughter and granchild are buried there.
    I will attach a couple of pictures, from postcards, that you will find interesting. (I have these cards in my postcard stash. I’m a Postcrosser,) They are fairly self-explanatory. The modern photo shows the dome of the church Henry Flagler is buried in. It’s Memorial Presbyterian, although my friend insists on calling it the Presbyterian Mosque. It’s pretty elaborate.
    The hotel became a college in the 1968. The college is small, but highly rated.
    (Also, on another note, coquina is pronounced Ko-keen-a, not Ko-queen-a. It’s a Spanish word, so a lot of people make that mistake. I can’t remember which episode this came up in. Before Age of Innocence, though.)

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