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The Many Mizners: An Autobiography (Paperback)
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Remember, there were no maps, no travelogues, or any data whatsoever on this land that God and man had forgotten.
Born into an extraordinary family clan, this is the breathless, picaresque memoir of Addison Mizner: the great architect of Palm Beach, and other spots on the Atlantic coast of Florida. Following his early family life in affluent, late nineteenth-century California, we join the exploits of the intrepid young Addison - by the author's account the most remarkable figure of his age. We hear of his experiences in central America, then his truly hair-raising work as a gold prospector in the Yukon, where he becomes an unwitting midwife, and has to foil a murder plot against himself. He details further adventures in Hawaii, and ends up in the boxing ring in Australia, escaping via China.
When Addison finally arrives in New York, we see a more recognizable individual, re-entering the society life he was born to. All along we see his eye for detail and an obvious flair for design and architecture, something exploited wherever he happens to be, whether in Palm Beach or the Yukon.
Only in the touching last chapter, detailing the hilarious final months of his mother's life, does he perhaps realize what it means to be a "Mizner".