Tuesday, October 22, 2013

St. Augustine, Florida - October 22, 2013

Second Read Books
St. Augustine, Florida

If I had a dollar for every time the name of Flagler is mentioned in St. Augustine, I would be a wealthy woman. Henry Flagler (1830-1913) put the city on the map in 1888 by building an elegant winter resort for the rich and bringing the railroad to the town so they could get here. He wanted his hotel to rival any of New York City's poshest hotels. He had the money to do it.

Today, this Spanish-Moorish building formerly known as the Ponce de Leon Hotel with its courtyard fountain and gardens, is Flagler College, a private, four-year liberal arts school. It opened in 1968. Twenty-five hundred students are enrolled.

The one-hour tour was led by Dan, a student of the college. We saw a lot of mosiac tiles in the entrance rotunda; painted ceilings and Tiffany stained-glass windows in the formal dining room (which is now the student dining hall); and velvet covered furniture, paintings, fireplaces, and eleven crystal chandeliers in the formal parlor where the ladies of that day gathered to chat in their bustles and feathered hats.

The day was very hot and humid. After walking around a bit, we found two bookstores and made our purchases. We were melting. We headed back to the B&B for a siesta.

I am happy with my purchases:

Second Read Books:
Death Comes to Pemberley by P.D. James, a Jane Austen Pride and Prejudice mystery.

Cross Creek by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings about her experiences in the Florida hamlet of Cross Creek, where she lived for thirteen years. I was very happy and surprised to find this one especially after discovering Ms. Rawlings' connection with St. Augustine yesterday.

Anastasia Books:
Jeeves and the Tie That Binds by P.G. Wodehouse, always a delight.

As We Were by E.F. Benson, a memoir of Victorian and Edwardian England. Mr. Benson is the author of the humorous Mapp and Lucia books.

Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery, a lovely edition published by the Everyman's Library Children's Classics. It has color illustrations by Sibyl Tawse.

Tomorrow we leave Mr. Flagler's town and move up the coast to Savannah and more literary exploits.

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