Heloise (Ella) Durant Obit Found
She's on the cover of my second novel in the trilogy. I've written articles about how hard it has been to find information about her. She was not even buried with her son and the rest of the Durant family in the Durant Mausoleum at Green Wood Cemetery. Finally, someone tracked down Ella Durant Rose's obituary and posted it online here. It is from the St. Petersburg Times 1943. She is buried at St. Bartholomews. What 's still unclear is whether she is buried at the St. Barts in Florida or New York City, where she was married. If anyone finds out please let me know.
The Night is Done
It is 1931, the heirs to a bygone fortune, William West Durant and his sister Ella are in the last decade of their lives and contemplating their legacy. William returns to visit the estate he once possessed in the Adirondacks to speak with the current owner, copper magnate Harold Hochschild, who is writing a history of the region and wants to include a biography of William. Simultaneously, Ella is visiting with an old family friend and former lover, Poultney Bigelow, journalist with Harpers Magazine, who talks her into telling her own story.
William recounts the height of his glory, after his father’s death in 1885 when he takes control of the Adirondack railroad assets, travels the world in his yacht and dines with future kings. However, his fortune takes a turn during the Financial Panic of 1893 and amid accusations of adultery and cruelty.
Ella’s tale begins when she returned from living abroad to launch a lawsuit against her brother for her fair share of the Durant inheritance. The court provides a stage for the siblings to tear each other’s reputation apart: William for his devious business practices and failure to steward the Durant land holdings, and Ella for her unconventional lifestyle. Based on actual events, and historic figures, The Night is Done is a tale about the life altering power of revenge, greed and passion.
Now available on Amazon.
Sheila Myers Professor at Cayuga Community College in Upstate New York.
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