Clara and Mr. Tiffany

Clara and Mr. Tiffany - Susan Vreeland I have to start this off by stating that I am a huge Susan Vreeland fan. I love the way she incorporates historical fact, artists, their works and the flavour of the time into a completely readable and most importantly, enjoyable book. This book is no different. Clara Driscoll was an avid letter writer and happenstance brought these letters to light in 2007. Gleaning facts from these letters Ms. Vreeland transports the reader back to the early 1900’s … Tiffany Glass was the poor relation to Tiffany’s of jewellery fame. Clara was a glasscutter with a beautiful imagination and the determination to get Mr. Tiffany’s attention. Doing a lamp was their secret project, until they unveiled it to worldwide acclaim and commercial success.

Clara is a colourful woman in her own right, and using her voice in the narration of this book we learn about New York City in the 1920’s & 30’s. Through Clara Ms. Vreeland brings to life the city, the politics, working conditions for women and union issues. Living in a boarding house with an Irish landlady and a group of people from all walks of life the reader gets a glimpse into their personal lives, loves, hardships and happiness. Flipping the coin to the upper class the reader also gets a clear view on the class distinction and “how the other half lives”. From poorhouse to rooming house to near ghetto to multi-million dollar estates nothing is left out of this telling. Ms. Vreeland never skimps on facts. This book will further educate those readers interested in the
history and how-to of glass making. Those of us not into glass making or stained glass will have to be satisfied by a truly enthralling read.

The whole book was wonderful!