By Patricia Beard
After the Ball is that infrequent actual tale that reads like an epic novel, a sweeping chronicle of an period, and an intimate account of the desire and betrayal of a son whose father gave him every little thing -- other than the educational to discover his approach in territory governed via the rapacious.James Hazen Hyde used to be twenty-three in 1899 while he inherited the bulk stocks within the billion-dollar Equitable lifestyles coverage Society. in simple terms 5 years later, he fell from grace in a Wall road scandal that obsessed the kingdom and commanded a hundred and fifteen front-page articles within the big apple Times.Hyde was once clever, cultured, and impressive, yet he was once no fit for an older new release that had mapped the backstreets of excessive finance. Vying to regulate the Equitable's tremendous funding pool, the main well-known financiers and industrialists of the period -- between them E. H. Harriman, Henry Clay Frick, and J. P. Morgan -- positioned Hyde on forty-eight forums and integrated him in bargains that shook Wall road. after which, on the top of social luck, he made a deadly miscalculation.On the final evening of January 1905, James Hyde held a fabulously flamboyant, eighteenth-century, Versailles-themed gown ball. His enemies used the get together because the hook to hold him on, claiming that he used to be too frivolous to run an organization devoted to retaining widows and orphans; and unfold the rumor that he had spent 200 thousand funds of Equitable cash on a night's leisure. by the point a central authority research verified that Hyde had paid the debts himself, his popularity was once ruined.The sour crusade to wrest keep watch over of the Equitable and its great funding skill from Hyde at the heels of the ball. because the struggle escalated, clandestine alliances among insurers and Wall road burst to the skin, exposing suggestions which are the stuff of twenty-first-century scandals: self-dealing, insider buying and selling, accounting malpractice, and company investment of non-public pleasures.After the Ball tells a story that riveted hundreds of thousands of usa citizens a century in the past. Its issues are as clean this present day as they have been in 1905: greed and chicanery, the improper love among fathers and sons, and contradictory American attitudes approximately wealth -- all unfolding opposed to a surroundings of beauty, extra, and corrupting glamour.
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Additional resources for After the Ball: Gilded Age Secrets, Boardroom Betrayals, and the Party That Ignited the Great Wall Street Scandal of 1905
Life tenants of a ﬁne dairy farm in Orange County, New York, purchased by Mr. Hyde for the purpose, and where Mr. Hyde retires, when wearied with the cares of business, to rest himself in the bosom of his family No. 2 . . She was once the wife of a policyholder in the Equitable; the policy lapsed, and he died; but her piteous pleadings so affected the tender heart of Mr. Hyde, that he purchased the farm aforesaid, installed her as mistress, and on its income she is enabled to live with comfort, educate her children, and ﬁt them to become worthy representatives of their putative father, A Life: Henry, 1859–1899 31 never forgetting to instill in their minds the beneﬁcence of life insurance.
Henry escorted his daughter down the oak staircase in her white satin dress with a tulle veil. For a large society wedding, there were relatively few attendants: four bridesmaids, wearing pearl-studded moiré; four ushers; and a best man. Mary and Sidney received their guests for an hour, then left for their honeymoon, and the reception continued. The weather was ﬁne, but to be sure a storm or cold snap didn’t spoil the day, Henry had the broad verandas enclosed in glass so the entire ﬁrst ﬂoor could be set with tables for the luncheon, catered by Delmonico’s.
Annie Hyde had one pleasure that was hers alone; she drew well in crayons and made engravings, but very little distinguished her from other women of her class. Much of her time was spent in the usual rituals, chief of which was paying calls. In 1899, the Social Register published its ﬁrst Visiting Index, which organized New York by neighborhoods, noting the day for “at homes” when ladies received visitors or their visiting cards. Annie’s “at home” was Wednesday; by coincidence, that was when Town Topics came out, which gave the ladies something extra to talk about.