Download An Affair with Beauty: The Mystique of Howard Chandler Christy: Romantic Illusions Audiobook

An Affair with Beauty: The Mystique of Howard Chandler Christy: Romantic Illusions Audiobook, by James Philip Head Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: James Philip Head Narrator: Pamela Almand Publisher: Jim Head Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: May 2019 ISBN: 9781982699307
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Fame, fortune, and beautiful models—Howard Chandler Christy had them all.

Christy was the most famous American painter of the Jazz Age, a time when an elite brotherhood of New York artists dominated the publishing world. Christy had eclipsed all of them with his “Christy Girl,” an idealized woman who redefined beauty, influenced fashion, and inspired generations of women. Illustrated in popular magazines, bestselling novels, and top-ranked newspapers, the “Christy Girl” transformed the artist into a household name.

In An Affair with Beauty, Christy once again comes to life through the eyes of Nancy Palmer Christy, his wife and former model, as she recounts her first Christmas with Howard and his family at his Ohio mansion in 1912.

She tells of Howard Christy’s early years studying art in near poverty in New York City and his sudden ascent to stardom as the top pupil of William Merritt Chase, the premier portrait painter in America. She describes his daring experiences with Teddy Roosevelt during the Spanish-American War in Cuba and his brush with death, no less than three times. The effects of the war profoundly transformed Howard, inspiring him to create his vision of beauty, the “Christy Girl,” which catapulted him to stardom.

When romance blossomed between artist and model, Howard was slow to seek a divorce from his estranged wife, Maebelle, jeopardizing Nancy’s desires and compelling her to uncover his scandalous past. As World War I broke out, Howard returned to New York City, which compelled Nancy to risk everything to reveal her true feelings for him.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Head emphasizes that Christy’s lifelong obsession with beautiful women, the ‘romanticized, statuesque goddess,’ was as much about inner beauty as physical perfection.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Everything about Romantic Illusions is top-notch—a notable piece celebrating American culture, art, history, and beauty—and an extraordinary read. Well done!”

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About the Author

James Philip Head is an author and a law partner in Virginia. While a student at the University of Maryland, he discovered a gilt-edged folio of Charles Dana Gibson’s The Social Ladder in the stacks of the campus library, starting him on a journey to learn more about Gibson and the “illustrators of beauty.” He became captivated by the talent, fame, and subsequent obscurity of Howard Chandler Christy and began amassing the largest private collections of documents, photographs, and other material related to the artist. Over the years, he has interviewed Christy’s former models, family members, and others who knew him and ultimately engaged research assistants throughout the country to help him uncover the true, untold story of Christy and his wife, Nancy. He is a law partner with Williams Mullen, P.C., in Tysons Corner, Virginia, where he concentrates in estate planning and trust and estate litigation. He lives in Chantilly, Virginia, with his wife Rita, and daughter Christianna.

About the Narrator

Pamela Almand, a former international 747 pilot for Delta Airlines, launched an unlikely second career after appearing in a national television spot for Tylenol in 1995. Several regional spots for Northwest Airlines followed, and she began narrating training and industry videos, built a professional recording studio, and launched the Captain’s Voice. Since then, Pamela has provided voice-over for major corporate clients worldwide, including Microsoft, Disney, Canadian Realtors, the United Nations, Zurich, International Red Cross, and the hotels and casinos of Monte Carlo. She is a SAG/AFTRA voice actor and audiobook narrator with multiple awards and nominations from the Audio Publishers Association’s Audie Awards, Society of Voice Arts and Sciences’ Voice Arts Awards, and AudioFile magazine’s Earphones Award. She lives in Atlantic Beach, Florida, with her husband, Amos.